Flower Conroy’s poetry has appeared/is forthcoming in American Literary Review, The Moose & the Pussy, Menacing Hedge, and other journals. She is the author of the chapbooks “Escape to Nowhere,” and soon-to-be-published “Controlled Burn.”
Enter the pyramid mind.
Undress yourself of your past & daily lives, also, your clothing.
Slow so that I may study the invitation of your exposed skin in this light.
I shall run a bath for you, & after I’ve scoured your body, I’ll dry you.
Comb your hair.
You offer the back of your neck, your spine, tailbone. Were I half-animal.
Were you a pup. I would take you in my jowls by your scruff.
Bring you where I want you.
I make flesh flush. Rhythm sculpts, you a mirage rising.
Tethered to my leash your thoughts pace beyond my grasp. Lift your face
to mine with one obelisk finger. I offer back the mystery, a bite
of salted tomato & ice.
Eat from my hand while I rock against you.
That I may cup your mouth & throat, feel against my palms how you swallow
the world, how you devour air.
Before you turn upon me, wild released one.
In the abandoned meat factory, rain grizzled the stairwell.
You were shirtless, cardboard beneath you.
Beyond the cinderblocks, breath
of traffic, industrial & silver. Clouds
within clouds, the yellow leaves
of the trees lining October. Hooks
dangled from the ceiling, upside-down question marks.
Out of body: as if I watched in a mirror
but couldn’t see my eyes. All my mind saw
was bone, it heard ghosts—wind—the rusty fan scraping
in its cell. Later that night, lightning rib-
cage, heart of brewing storm.
That place no longer exists.
I think of its other names: The Beef Barn.
Temple of virginity lost. Or simply—
abattoir, slaughterhouse. When I left,
I left carrying my shoes.
Below the lovers’ bedroom, The Broken Cloud, frenzy of butterflies & gnats.
Beyond the collapsing
fence the orchard’s apple-
ly ever after air while
the virescent pond submits to its sublime, dragonfly death. Possessed
as Podkowinski’s manic stallion
whose portrait hangs above
the headboard, kudzu smothers trees
& the shell of an abandoned tractor. The colt for the first time tastes its bit.
Tremblings, The Swollen Bite,
crickets Kama Sutra
in the grass’ understory,
punch-drunk on sweet & sour chlorophyll, the ecstatic songs their contorted
frayed legs make. While in the over-
flowing garden, corn rots, overripe
eggplant split, cabbage surrender to deer.
Coral & Jewel, gardenia loll. Here end love’s different kinds of nibbling, thigh resting on thigh.
Young glazed lovers, hay smell of bliss,
razing crop, do you never wonder
who will feed the chickens?
I’d forgotten the hyssop aftertaste of paisley. Background
of nostalgia’s strange piano sounds. I distinguish
your voice in the ripped velvet dark. I swore
I wouldn’t: the dark, the dark, the dark but this glass
of dark makes me think of dark,
& more dark. How the thin shade
barely kept back the world outside. In the ceiling’s mirror,
I was a skinned animal fastened by my own fascination
of you circling me: Who lives
like this? & How alive are you?
body fit the other with a little
Juxtaposition Among Redwoods
They were not red. Not as in blood-
red nails. Not red like apples, or corvettes.
These mythological bodies, thriving upward,
were welted rust, paprika-dusted, owl-
brown, tigered in moss. They whispered shadows.
This excursion before touring the vineyards.
You wore a leather trench coat. I teetered
along the pathway in fuchsia shoes.
Alone along some trail, separated from human
eyes, you took me to you with one arm,
& with the other, a singular
fallen limb. Said into my neck, turn around &
I did. The sky opened small enough for a cloud to escape.
It sounded like falling leaves, still clenched in branches.