Sending Flowers

 The florist reads faces, reaches into the mouths of customers.
Turns curled tongues into rose petals,

teeth clinking against one another into baby’s breath.
She selects a cut bloom, a bit of leaf,

lays stem alongside of stem, as if building a wrist
from the inside. She binds them

when the message is right, and sighs at the pleasure
of her profession. Her trade:

to wrangle intensity, to gather blooms and say, here,
these do not grow together

but in this new arrangement is language. The florist
hands you a bouquet

yanked from your head, the things you could not say
with your ordinary voice.

–Hannah Stephenson


Trust me

like Pharaohs calling to rain clouds in a drought

Boundless grains of salt parch the Earth

I watch the skies open mouth

Trust me

as sure as death is to sing swiftly to cold bodies

Let’s make ours warmer

fill the space in the universe that propels us closer

The truth without trust

are only falsities lying in remission

repeating omissions

waiting for lies to come to fruition

Trust be nimble

& I’ll be Jack jumping back to the candle stack

that first lit these rhymes for you

Just trust

the way infants knowingly cling to their mothers

small fists of utter dependence

We sway with an unparalleled rhythm

and the pyramid kings have all gone home

I now call you to stand at your throne

I trust you to answer with that

regal swagger I know you have

This is me at my best

throwing down dented armor and all other guises

I trust you to tell me the truth

or do you not know what your disguise is?

Tucked in, patiently pacifying your disgust

I peer into your eyes sometimes

and only see what could’ve been