Eric Orosco

Somewhere in Sacramento

i fixate on mexican lovegrass,
find websites marking maps
with sightings, comb my memory
for moments i may have crossed
its path. i chew on its latin name
like bubblegum i don’t intend to
blow— sometimes people ask me
to pronounce my last name &
i reply however you want.

somewhere in sacramento a child
points at mexican lovegrass &
calls it a weed. a passing botanist
stops, stoops down, and clarifies:
mexican lovegrass is a native species.
the lovegrass sways in agreement.
the child, citing emerson, clarifies
that a plant whose virtues have not
yet been discovered is a weed. the
lovegrass continues swaying.

i observe my body in a mirror &
whisper weed while i press my
skin like flowers in a book. the
botanist is in the corner classifying
my succulents. somewhere in
sacramento the child picks a dandelion,
makes a wish, and blows. thin like
mexican lovegrass
i wish and the botanist
looks up. i should be getting home soon
he says. neither of us move.

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Eric Orosco is a queer, Sacramento based poet whose writing has appeared in American River Review, Jokes Review, Calliope, and Fearsome Critters. He’s a founding editor of Levee Magazine ( When he’s not stressing about paying back student loans, he can be found watering his peace lilies and eating carbs. Follow him at