pressing flowers between the pages of a biology textbook (30/07/16)

by Ella Standage

the heaviest you can find are often biology textbooks.
five hundred pages, life science: how seeds
nestle in the earth, siblings buried side by side.

beneath my thistle-pricked thumb—the spine
of a late-june rose, petals milk-soft where they spill
out in spirals, unblemished as fresh paper.

beneath the nervous tickle of my thumb—the spine
of the book, creased down the middle like a horizon
folded, a small eternity of wilted scrap paper.

laying out the way each flower will be held
between inky serifs, layers of stilted jargon. heavy
pages, letters faded where the sun cannot reach

and blossoms pressed closely but not yet fused.
summer preserved at a standstill within crinkling
sheets. photosynthesis: impossible.

the heaviest books holding silk starbursts, skin-thin
rosettes, tissue paper with an absence of weight,
these pages left unread to all but pollen and time.