I Woke Up, I Ate Flowers


I Woke Up, I Ate Flowers
Allisa Cherry

“and may the day still remain dedicated to joy.” -F. Holderlin

Those fat magnolia petals
plumped up with perfume,
I scraped the flesh from the skin
with my front teeth.
Then I polished my teeth with the stems.
I put my nose in the dirt
and nickered like a pony
until the sun warmed my haunches.
Belly bared to the soil.
Neck bent to the sun.
It will not do to say
tomorrow and tomorrow
though every blind turn
reveals a new obstacle to my joy. 
When I was young,
I waited tables until I had
enough money for a bus ticket
to Washington. My father
couldn’t stand the thought of me
sleeping upright among strangers.
So he paid the difference
and put me on a plane.
It was my first flight
and I was afraid. My father
asked his nervous daughter
what are your days for
if you won’t spend them?
Now it is evening.
And I have filled a soup tureen
full of hydrangeas.
With every spoonful I make a big show
of blowing on the petals.
What a silly pantomime this life is.
Each bit of bloom collapses
and disappears before I swallow.
I go to bed hungry. Tomorrow
and tomorrow, I’ll do it again.
I will kick my heels
against every flank of the day,
click my tongue, stained with flowers,
and say to it, sweetly, let’s go.

Allisa Cherry was raised in a rural community in the irradiated southwest and completed her MFA at Pacific University. More of her work can be found in Westchester Review and at SWWIM Daily. Instagram: allisacherry”