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Not Our Kingdom

written by: Jennifer Boyd
I’ve been thinking about how flora and fauna
are as distant as the heavens and together as 
landscape. There are so many lessons I’ve 
forgotten from Ecology 101 but the way you
look at me reminds me of the things that
matter. Our ecosystem—your mother’s 
Honda Accord—and my forever need for 
love stories and happy endings, the gifts 
the earth offers to us as softness bared. I 
am busy mapping the distance between 
kingdom and domain when I begin to 
understand how good it is to belong 
to someone. This is not our kingdom.You leave me in a dream I cannot keep 
but when I flower into the shape of 
your name I am so close to remembrance. 
How do we unknow? I can’t help but hope 
that the mapleswamp of my heart will 
someday bloom into meadow and delicate 
will be a language I can speak. In our kingdom 
I am less fauna and more flora and we are 
alone in our reign. In our kingdom I am less 
furious rhythm and more kind angelsong, less 
lion of prey and more bird of paradise. How 
beautiful you are when unflinching. How 
beautiful you are when rapturous. The 
textbooks forgot to give a name to how 
the fauna in me unravels when your hands 
flare like wings and I blossom in your 
palms, locked into honeysuckle sweetness 
and wondering if there is more than one 
species of familiarity, one other than the 
kind we know when the windows are down
just enough to hear God. I imagine that 
in this landscape I taste less like harvest 
moon, shadow whisper, more like morning 
dew, beads of citrus. We are alone in our 
say it somehow’s, our kingdoms and angels. 

The still in your breathing ties me in 
forget-me-knots and I realize that this 
is not ecology but a lesson on how to 
be gentle. This is not our kingdom, 
but it’s heaven or this.

Jennifer Boyd

Jennifer Boyd

Jennifer Boyd is a high school student from Hull, Massachusetts. Her poetry and essays have appeared in several publications, including Poetry Quarterly, Alexandria Quarterly, Tower Journal, and The Critical Pass Review. Additionally, her work has been recognized by Smith College, Hollins University, Princeton University, and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Most recently, Jennifer published her first chapbook, Stretto (2017). Jennifer is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Onism Journal, a digital publication which features the creative projects of young artists around the world. She enjoys blogging for Voices of Youth and HuffPost in her free time.
Jennifer Boyd

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