Adrie Rose

The Flower is Haunted By


noses pressed to
lilacs in the purpled
garden night

he said, You know, peonies
have no way to unfurl
on their own, they depend

on ants to come and burrow
inside, to unlatch
the blossoms—

and though
he was the kindest, the gentlest,
I could think only

of men convinced
they were the ant,
their job

to rupture.


The dig. Slow sifting of
        soil away

with tiny brushes.
        Wooden trays filled

with slabs of moss, little caskets
        limned with plush greening,

to lay the rusted metal hinges
        and jewelry into, every

man there swooning
        over the tooled

and hammered decrepit
        metal. I thought, my gods,

all I want
        is that cradle

of moss, just lay me
        into it and never

touch me again.

The Knife, Sharpened

I       sold
the diamond ring, swept
the corners of the rooms, slept
with a pine branch
beside me.
How     long
it has taken to find every stray
to throw into the fire.

The wolf in the bed
said, You      owe me,
you opened
your door.

How long
does it take, yarrow
on the doorstep,
wedding dress
given away,
a pint      of blood,
all bribes
all debts      paid.

Adrie Rose plays with words and plants in unceded Nonotuck territory. Her work has previously appeared in Witness, Rise Up Review, The Rail, Poetry and more. She won the Elizabeth Babcock Poetry Prize, Ethel Olin Corbin Prize, and Gertrude Posner Spencer Prize in 2021. Find her on Twitter @AdrieLovesPie

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Fall 2021