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Late Bloomer
by Emily Budd

Late Bloomers rustled in secret breezes in the shadows. Late Bloomers were told for so long that they were wrong, they didn’t know how to love until it was too late. Late Bloomers are the unknown lovers who could’ve told us. Late Bloomers are the ancestors we lost to AIDS and suicide and witch hunts, and we are the Late Bloomers who quilt their graves with flowers.

Be a real woman, Late Bloomer. Why are you wearing that, Late Bloomer? Why are you so awkward, Late Bloomer? Late Bloomers will bring your youth back. Late Bloomers bring color to your garden in Winter. Late Bloomers are on sale and twice the size, not one not two but three Late Bloomers. Late Bloomers don’t deserve to be lonely. Late Bloomers know that the heart deceives but the gut speaks the truth.

Late Bloomers are the planted seeds of a queer future. Late Bloomers grow towards the mystery like it’s the sun. Late Bloomers will be survival guides through apocalyptic transformation. Late Bloomers will die old and happy. Late Bloomers’ dreams will blossom, and we are the Late Bloomers who will press them in pages to remember them.

Late Bloomer