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Corpse Flower

By

June and the woman ties the blindfold
around my eyes, leads me up a hill.
Someone calls to tell me about the immaculate
Ferragamos of the dead. On the hill,
the grove unseen grows wilder
than the grove made visible. The bark
rough as punished skin, beetles
shimmy up the vascular. Thrall, not
thrall—all I want is to sit in the dark
and not be the film about the lady
empath. Air a message sewn into our
hems, daylight brutes against my bad eye.
The lady empath bleats, swoons. You
could smell it from the parking lot.
Spadix
wrapped in spathe, right, ladies?
Blooms one day a year. Let wolves
suck marrow from the bones of boys.
The aspens clone themselves. I take
my clothes off. The cormorants
come back. A star burns out.
At Meteora, monks line the old monks’
skulls on ledges. I slide my underwear
down. Someone leaves food out for his
dead—ribeye, soda, plum. The dead
feast. I unhook my bra. My breasts spill out.
The ceiling fan cuts heat into districts.
Head on his chest. The aquifer quivers
in the dark. At Stuttgart, at Basel, at
Kagoshima, they open up the garden long
into the night, and the crowds come.

G

Author Image

Kerri Webster is the author of two books of poetry—Grand & Arsenal (winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, 2012) and We Do Not Eat Our Hearts Alone (University of Georgia, 2005). She currently lives in Idaho.

Feature image by Judy Pfaff, Untitled #9, 2008. Etching, relief, digital, hand punching, 10 1/2 × 15 in. Edition of 40 by Tandem Press, Madison.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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