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Another Venus Flytrap Poem by King Llanza

Millions of years ago, due to nutrient-poor environments, some plants went through

a remarkable adaptation.

Before we charted those lands and discovered them, they figured out what makes a mouth a mouth, learned to make do

with a hunger for animal flesh.

For example: the Venus flytrap. Flowers

as pure as ivory with leaves

like a hunter's snare.

Say, as with flowers wide and tall, a bee is enamored by the scent of nectar,


a landing on the midrib of its leaf.

Once a trigger hair is

bent, it signals a change

from the midrib to close each lobe together as though crushing a cockroach between the pages of a hardbound book.

Its finger-like cilia outlining

the lobes lace together

to form an airtight seal for the five to twelve weeks it would take to

fully digest

the unfortunate pollinator. Hot pink and, eventually, vacant once again.

The men I sleep with is actually just one man

with a lot of kindness to show.

He bends me, comes between me.

He is thousands of miles away.

He knows me from my


to my flowers. I have matured to desire one truly or desire none.

Maybe someday,

I will learn to communicate


with my past lives: supplementing sustenance by consuming

another: mysteries of birthmarks. Sore to my core,

pinkish and satisfied.


King Llanza (he/they) is a forest carbon researcher from the Philippines. His poems have appeared in literary publications in the UK, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Malaysia, among others. He holds a MSc in Environmental Science and Ecosystem Management. (Twitter: @KVLwrites)

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