Nitrogen - Emily Brower

My fixation upon you struck as lightning1

As your colorless presence archly asphyxiated2 me and

My soul’s very soil absorbed you through my roots.

We lived in symbiosis…

You seeped further through my veins and flesh,

My juvenile petals growing and falling with green grace

Onto the vaporous turf beneath.

How could one, so fresh as I, digest the harrowing truth

That you swell through death, decay, and decline?3

And that once my stalk blackened,

I would simply be added to your festering cache,

And become a mere remnant in your cynical cycle.

1 Atmospheric nitrogen must be processed, or "fixed,” in a usable form to be taken up by plants. Nitrogen can be fixed by lightning strikes.

2 Nitrogen gas is asphyxiating when inhaled, similar to losing breath at first sight of a lover.

3 Nitrogen seeps into the soil through decomposing organic matter.