In the long, dark times before the start
I waited in the moonflower garden.
The vines grew strong, with pointed leaves
Toxic nightshade, witches w**d
I took them and wound them around my body,
Tight like linen cloth,
Paralysis. My bound eyes saw
Petals unfurl like napkins, new moon
Glowing ghostly white
Too pale to exist in daylight but
In the stillness of surrender,
Where I could not speak, nor move, I saw
Nightmares bloom as wisdom
Last night I came across moonflowers by chance. Struck by the name, I went down a rabbit hole of reading about how its flowers open at night so fast you can watch, about its mythology of blooming from the chest of Shiva after he ate poison, and about its use by indigenous peoples as a medicinal and visionary plant, as well as reading people’s crazy reports of symptoms while under its psychedelic influence. This poem was the result.