Lia Greenwell


When I began to open myself
I was not like a night bloom, opening once
in the perfect, safe dark,

+++++++but a magnolia blossom opening once and staying open
to the sun completely, through the rot

and yellowing and eventual unlatching of the petals
until the very center burns.

Once I began to crack like a waking lid, I could not stop
my looking. I was opened.

I sometimes wanted to belong solely
to that darkness—only the fat raccoons would see me
and would not care,

but I fell open like a broken aperture. The light
came in as if through a magnifying glass, and
I, a blade of grass.

Lia Greenwell

has contributed poems to Painted Bride Quarterly, Poecology, Flyway, and Witness. She is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and has received scholarships from the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Originally from Michigan, she lived in New York City before joining Warren Wilson College as the 2015-16 Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow.