ALL ACCOUNTS AND MIXTURE: Poetry by Flower Conroy

Me, Me Not  

Not a contrived still life, but as if I hid

in a field behind a giant bloom, efflorescence obscured.


Tepals, skin & sepals.  Petrichor—scent of rain on garland,

on dust, my breath & the word


for blood in the mouth is hesitate.  Is ichor.   My face

a giant flower.  If I could be reborn something beautiful.


You vacillate, plucking my heartstrings, does she/

does she not… Orchid wicked, or fringed in cones.


Steeped in eucalyptus.  Or among the apple clover.

You alone in a corn field reveal your corolla.


Behind you, the sun, a candle wrapped in paper.





From the window, their unencumbered skeletons

cradle the overcast light, piercing the crisp

purpling sky:  I’ve pruned the bushes, ravished

hands hatched in scratches, caked in dirt. 

Weak canes whittled until only a few stalks jut

against a colorless landscape, rust switches, leaf- & bloom-

less.  Gnarled thorn spangled stems.  Dead rose

love.  I’ve raked the leaflets; broken peduncles

top-heavy with petal, I’ve ushered the unopened hips

into a mound & have left a wake of bouquets, undressed

as x-rays, bruised eyelids, damp swatches—Bit O’ Magic,

Angel Darling, Sweet Surrender—strewn at your feet.



You Refused to Leave


the unsaid, unsaid & I somewhither, wanderlust-

ing among the hedgerows in the small

hours.  My footfalls, like dye seeping through

the memory of blooms, & the blooms

themselves, clairvoyant, broken-

necked in their urns.  Ornamental.  The solipsistic

manner in which they stare at the abandon

(that is, the giving of themselves un-

restrainedly) their shadows scatter

across the stepping rocks I navigate—rattles me.

And when you find me

you startle me, I did not hear you

approaching, & before whatever

it is that will befall, before you are

breath—I fix my fingers to your mouth.



A sinkhole encroaches and my sub-


conscious won’t relinquish you.  Earth divorces

itself from itself  like a piece of cornbread

you try to butter, all crumble in your palm.  I cup

my ear to the wall, eavesdrop on the popping—

like a can tab knuckled opened, or a dropped light

bulb exploding, a tongue tocking across its roof’s

mouth.  Grass sunders, a raw avalanche.

The approaching abyss has consumed the row

of hemlocks once bucking this street & a bird

bath, & now threatens to devour our weeping

willow.  Where I stand looking down at the lip

thoughts tumble in unable to climb out.



Flower Conroy’s first chapbook, Escape to Nowhere was selected as first runner up in the Ronald Wardall Poetry Prize and was published by Rain Mountain Press.  Her second chapbook is forthcoming from Headmistress Press.  Her poetry is forthcoming/has appeared in American Literary Review, Poydras Review, Jai Alia, Sierra Nevada Review, and other journals.