a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
from colorless flower
to colorless flower,
following a coded scent
to the plant that supplies
the pollen they feed on.
Over slow centuries the yucca
formed its offerings
to this single moth.
The young moths bury themselves
beneath the bell-shaped flowers
to wait for a wet year
in which the blooming yucca
feeds the next generation
of its pollen-bearers.
The plants’ pollen is carried
only by this moth.
It is only this plant the moth grows on.
They continue through each other.
In the dark the yucca moth
leaves the flower it was born in.
There are animals in the desert
that no longer allow themselves
finding what moisture
in stored nuts and seeds,
residing among roots that offer
never needing to look
for the scant water
we cannot live a day without.
Michael Battisto is a poet and chef. Born in Chicago, he lived in New York, Wyoming, Arizona and Texas. Now he lives and works in Oakland, California.