Silk Flowers, Trussed

Strapless, you slip into the suicide seat. We swipe bicyclists and barn doors barreling detours. The highway knows which way to turn. Forked road, forks, and a flask for a picnic. I read to you from a cereal box. Here’s plastic sushi and candied lemon, fallen apples and dandelion tea. Your hair covers your eyes. You twist statements to questions. Confession: I’ve never kept orchids alive. Down Main Street, mannequins proffer bouquets: carnations, stitched. Your duct taped lips.

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of eight books of poetry. Her work has been honored with fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Ragdale Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Kristina is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo, where she holds a Presidential Fellowship.

Carol Guess is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose, including Tinderbox Lawn and Doll Studies: Forensics. She is Professor of English at Western Washington University, where she teaches Creative Writing and Queer Studies. Follow her at