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


Orchids are ugly Orchids1 (3)

in the way that i bare me 

under pustules before blisters

is beauty


is any of this getting through clearly

i know that he knows that I’m pretty

doesn’t mean i feel it

i know i am naked as a peeled back onion

thousand hungry eyes

but only he sees me 

a sunflower in a field of roses 

i don’t want the recognition 



just want him to look at me