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.