The Queen’s Speech

agave americana — illustration by christian svanes kolding

Not far from the traffic circle on Superba Avenue is an enormous agave that’s taller than the tallest human, wider than most cars are long, and has elegant, extended arms, which unfurl like a creature from the sea.

It attracts wildlife and onlookers from miles around.

Monarch butterflies flutter above its rows of teeth on the elongated leaves, which radiate from its core. Birds occasionally rest on the spiny outer reaches of its arms and squirrels find shelter from the sun upon the cool pebbles in its shadow.

There’s no shortage of human passers-by who look up from their phones to stop and stare. They snap selfies and record short videos to report on the agave’s majesty.

Even at night, people are drawn to it, when it’s illuminated by spotlights.

“I wonder how long it’s been here?” they ask. Eleven years. It was planted ten years ago when it was one and now it’s only eleven years old, which in plant years is eleven years old.

How deep are its roots? Their root systems go down at least three feet but spread out even further.

How much water does it consume? They say not very much at all. They’re the camels of the plant world.

What does it contribute? And how often does it bloom? What do you think it has witnessed? What has it seen or overheard?

These are questions that are beyond my remit but what i can tell you is that the agave’s name is Claudia and, by all accounts, it is the Queen of Superba Avenue.

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You can find me on twitter as well as at

Filmmaker, Writer, Artist. My work has been in MoMA. On Medium, I write speculative fiction, humor and the occasional essay. From Copenhagen, lives in NYC. 🇩🇰

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