Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"Love Blooms, Air Thins" by Sierra July, Poet of the Week

Love Blooms, Air Thins
Sierra July

Thorns stab her heart from a smile
And she knows, feels
The first flowers of love creep inside
Stifling her heart though,
For a while, they were pretty things

Betrayal sapped her leaves dry,
Withered, yellowed
Like the complexion her tired eyes
Caught in the mirror
Those leaves lie in the bathroom sink

With apologies and promises
More blooms grew, bit, escaping
Up, out her sore throat

Each day, she wondered if today was when
Her heart's garden would leave her

Poet's Notes: A fictional disease, Hanahaki, inspired this one. Made popular in Eastern writing and art, the disease entails someone having flowers bloom in his or her heart, often from one-sided love, and then coughing up the petals until the victim has the flowers removed by surgery and loses their feelings, dies, or in the best case scenario, has their feelings returned and naturally recovers. There have been many modifications to this general premise, and this poem is merely my take on it.

Editor’s Note:  Ah, the oldest cliché in the book, the rose / Eros metaphor for love.  I usually reject poems that use this worn out poetic conceit, but Sierra’s is the exception--a refreshing, new, post-post-post modern twist on the old theme.

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