my friend inherited a flower farm

after years of digging up carrots

unearthing root vegetables hidden below

loam tucked into nail beds and her fingertips

stained the colors of a California sunrise


she calls me before her grandmother’s burial

beneath the soil of a different coast

today is Diá de los Muertos

the ground is already frozen solid and we are

so happy to watch the seasons die


listen to this, she says,

a mantis on my farm stalked a hummingbird

for weeks

I thought she would starve to death

until one day she caught the bird


I ask her what happened next and

she can show me photos of a headless body

wings still intact, tail feathers pointing East

they eat the brains, Rachael, just that

what happened to the mantis I wonder


she is dead now, of course

Rachael Inciarte lives in Southern California. She holds an MFA from Emerson College. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Post Road Magazine, Manzano Mountain Review, Up The Staircase Quarterly, and others. Find her at www.rachaelinciarte.com.