Swipe Right on Stapelia

The real-life reincarnation of a Piranha Plant,
the carrion flower is single & ready to mingle.

Honeybees swipe left on the chin hairs flowering
along her petals, so she perfumes herself with pheromones.

Stapelia’s sexy signature scent is corpse couture,
the ripe funk of rotting flesh. Flies dive bomb

the stretch mark spines tattooed on her leaves,
ready to pollinate & pleasure her all summer long.

Her puckering corona mesmerizes the flies &
convinces them to cradle their eggs inside her.

The stench is deceptive, though. Her stink tricks
parents into thinking the larvae will hatch to a buffet,

but they starve. Stapelia wraps pollen sacs around insects
struggling to free themselves. Her starfish blossoms

transform into tombs for the larvae & cribs for future
stinky singles. The carrion queen must be crafty to germinate.

Her malodorous fragrance masks a mother struggling
to survive, to sow the next generation of smelly succulents.

—Adrianna Gordey