let this be a flower in a field on fire

let this be a flower
in a field
on fire.

let this be a train
that moves backwards
the more it moves
forward.

let this be a broken bone,
a fractured sense of self,
a painting with a bullet wound
in its acrylic heart.

let this crack open
the shell of everything.

let this be an ambulance
through the small hallway
of your childhood home.

let this be a wound
that you pick open
every time it scabs.

let this
be spelled incorrectly
but sound perfectly incorrect.

let’s invite god
into the winter of our
grieving.

let’s dishevel
what’s left of our hair,

unbrush the back
of a once-wild horse,

uncover our garden
and introduce it to the frost
like a handshake with a hope
that looks like a blade.

let this kiss you
on both of your kidneys,
two red chalices
holding the anger
of your everyyear.

let this blister
before your lover
invites it to burst all over them
like an afterbirth.

let this sleep
through the war.

let this fight
through the dream.

let us weep
like our tears
could cool down the soil.

let me love you
in a language i will never
learn to speak.

let us honor arrows
for releasing the chi.

let us have an abundance
of only what we want and need,

a poem
that cannot be written,

a million wrong ways
to love each other.

let us dance with the king
of carrot flowers
who only speaks in maybes
until we too wear his carrot crown.

let it die like it was meant to.

let us never cease to grieve
anything,

let it muddle,

and let the muddle muddle
into more muddle,
as is where we birth tomorrow.

let this be a flower
in a field
on fire.

that does not dream
what it can sense before its very very face,

that there is no line
between what is burning
and what is drenched in rain.


Photo: Michael Benz

You Are Not a Flower

you are not a flower.

you do not rise
from the soil
like some dandy little
spark of life

you are not
overflowing
with green vanity

you just are.

when spring hits

you do not bloom

you do not rise up

from the cold winter

to burst forth into
some spectral showcase
of expressionistical color

you are not some
kaleidoscopic
manifesto

you are not
in constant competition
with the bright roses
around you

you are not
in constant praise
of the sun

your tongue is not
held out before you
drinking in
the ultraviolet rays
you’ve been fed

you do not
think of your roots
as being for
gathering life
into your body
like stranger prayer

you are not a flower.

you bloom inward
you burn circles
in your living room rug

trying to find
unidentified life lying
in the widening crack
of your ceiling

you lick the salt
from your wounds
and watch your hands
swell

you waste days
you boil water into boredom

you’ve torn your roots
from the bureaucratic soil
of bureaucracy

lifted
your two-dimensional legs
from the blueprint
they laid out for you

and you’re not always
so beautiful

you don’t have
the distinct privilege
of a best laid plan

you are something else

seedless
fruitless
without petals

you dance best drunk
and to heavy metal

you are not a flower.

you are the crayon
that walked to the edge
of town
and outside of the lines

and when you bloom
it’ll be in the middle of winter
in the middle of the night
and you will not bloom delicate

you my dear
will bloom fists and fury

From Stupid Flowers