Heads of fuchsia tremble, white
and redly pendant blossoms
swaying in and out of focus
as she pretends not to watch
the stranger beyond.
Around these floral warning bells
browning leaves rustle, marking
the oncoming season; sounding
the alarm that she is not alone.
But she already knows.
Her eye is caught by a black
leaf cutter bee, landing so precise
upon his target. With five swift moves
he carries off his quarry, the host
leaf now missing
a perfect circle of itself.
The stranger beyond is still.
Pretending not to notice, she tilts
to the side to tend the jasmine.
Pale stars its flowers, night-blooming –
is that when he will come for her?
When the moon reigns high
and this plant’s scent lingers
on darkly chill air, is that when she
will wake to find his fingers in her hair?
Hands shake in fragile begonias now –
her fear decapitates three in a row.
In shock, she looks up.
The stranger is gone.
And so, it has begun.