Botanica

Eve Alexandra

 
They are everywhere--those sunflowers with the coal heart center. They riot
without speaking, huge, wet mouths caught at half-gasp, half-kiss.
Flowers she promises I’ll grow into, sweet gardener,
long luminous braids I’d climb like ladders, freckles scattered
across our shoulders in a spell of pollen. She’s sleeping there--on that table
with its veneer slick as a glass coffin. She’s fed us fiddleheads, the tine fists
of Brussels sprouts, cupcakes, even the broken song of the deer’s neck. Singing.
Flowers everywhere. In my bedroom chaste daisies and the vigilance
of chrysanthemums. Dirt under my nails, pressing my cheek to the shag rug
with its million fingers. You could lose anything: a tooth, Barbie’s shoe,
this prayer. She loves me. She loves me not. I stare at my reflection,
a posy of wishes. Morning glory, nightshade, tulip, rhododendron.
In this poem I would be the Wicked Witch and she Snow White. Waiting.
My father talks to me about their lovemaking. My mouth empty
as a lily. I try to remember the diagram. Which is the pistil?
Which is the stamen? Roads of desire circle our house: Lost Nation Severance,
Poor Farm. Branches catch the wings of my nightgown.
There is a crow and the smell of blackberries.
 
Poem from The Drowned Girl, reprinted with permission of Kent State University Press.

Poems by This Author

Girl by Eve Alexandra
Be careful if you take this flower into your house
Heroine by Eve Alexandra
Needle to thread. Scythe to wheat. Foot to pedal
Passage by Eve Alexandra
Tiny jewels of sand and salt spill from her mouth
Sleeping at The Plaza by Eve Alexandra
There were tiny hounds sniffing out their gilded cages
The Drowned Girl by Eve Alexandra
This is a quiet grave


Further Reading

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