M. Ann Hull


M. Ann Hull has published work in 32 Poems, Barrow Street, BOXCAR Poetry Review, Fugue, Mid-American Review, Passages North, and Quarterly West, among others, and has been awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize. A former poetry editor of Black Warrior Review, she holds an MFA from the University of Alabama. 


I Know the Science of the Thing:

that a seed can plummet
from a flower’s pistil and either burrow into birth or become
the wind wishes caught in a child’s bitter breath. I know your
lungs require surfactant, a biochemical partnering of proteins
and liquids that promotes surface tension in your inhale-
and exhalation, like a petal that isn’t secured to its lily’s stalk
will fizzle from its height, topple like the tip of ash
from a cigarette inhaled too deeply before I knew I was breathing
for more than one. I know that if your first intakes of oxygen
occur without preparation, it would be like a balloon that bruised
every time you forced your air to expand its belly. I know petals
are described as “the parts of a flower that are often conspicuously
colored,” and I try to imagine the horror of being handed a bouquet
of roses turning blue. All of this revolves around whether you
will wait to meet me, and I stare at the vase expanding
as if I have no idea how much water it takes to keep
the arrangement going for one more week. All I really know
is that flowers are both wild and grown; that they have both
anthers and ovaries; that they are made to be fragile and, as a result,
are all the more explosively beautiful when they bloom.