Mendel’s Lost Files | Maia Joy

a plant does not have the
functional capacity to
knowingly self-destruct;

their chloroplasts do not choose
whether to accept the sunlight
from which they photosynthesize—

the sun, simply, says, “i love you,”
and the plant says, “thank you,”
and they continue on with their days.

the plant does not apologize
for the support it accepts. it
breathes in, breathes out, and

gives what it can, knowing that
it is not a vulnerability to ask
for a little spot of brightness.

i say, “i love you.”
i will say it again
until the light hits
just the right spot
and maybe, if we’re
lucky, someday
you’ll accept it.

Maia Joy (she/her) is a queer biracial poet, musician, and educator from Boston, MA. She is currently studying music and creative writing at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is a member of the Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House. She is the PR director and music/film staff writer for Ogma Magazine. Some of her work can be found in Star 82 Review and Sage Cigarettes Magazine; newer and forthcoming work can be found on her social media @maiajoyspeaks, and her website,

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.