Elizabeth Sylvia

The Transience

I don’t mind being stung
but the day must be a gorgeous one.
When you, world,
drop that bullet in my chest,
I’ll choose to stain the lilacs
and if they’ve passed,
we’ll wait another year.

Beauty is joy,
joy the acceptance of horror
in transience. The lilacs are transient.
They crumple not to dust but paste.
Don’t we all do our duties.
The lilac to the bee,
each getting for what it gives.
Lilac, come back.

I’ll come back
though the descent won’t
have been violent or fast.
More slow erasure of affluence.
Even at the end I’ll leave too much.


Elizabeth Sylvia (she/her) lives with her family in Massachusetts, USA where she teaches English and coaches debate. She is the winner of the 2021 3 Mile Harbor Book Prize and her manuscript None But Witches will be published in 2022. Elizabeth’s work is upcoming or has recently appeared in Feral, SWWIM, Thimble Literary Magazine, and Mom Egg Review, among others. @e_sylviapoet

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