see the tree
light the forest.
know her name
My face rests inside eyes,
but leaves only see their
own green-tinted nights.
No one makes the way
for me: it all leads north.
A cataracted sky looks on.
Ripe berries burst —
broken capillary cheeks
in sweet-smelling rivers.
a choice waits
to be made anew.
none are chosen
my mama’s purple leather jacket:
a gift of a gift. dry skin squeaks
as faults stick-slip ‘tween creases.
memories of a long-gone youth
preserved. polishing deep purple
with oil (like greasing my scalp
before bed). what’s good for skin
is good for skin. we crave touch.
once the cowhide has been dyed
and stitched, no one remembers
the innards or teeth. This lining
is cool burgundy, and the leather
creases perfectly with my face:
a gift of a gift. skin of my skin.
Your wet chest holds more memories than any skull
— living or dead. I’ve seen your chisel of a sternum,
your breastplate of old bricks. Have they served you
well? Does the safe house still stand? Paint the white
porch ceiling haint blue. Spirits might come knocking.
The watch turns to warning — a new eye approaches.
I know your safe house stands. There’s no tired wind
snake-rattling your chest, no red clay clogging veins.
That false train rumble will take us back to your door.
All dirt roads and branch waters come home to Bama.
Jasmine Flowers is a well-watered poet and copywriter from Birmingham, AL. She received her BA in English from the University of Alabama. Her poems are published or forthcoming in perhappened mag, giallo, Versification, River Mouth Review, Rejection Letters, and Mineral Lit Mag. Her poems have been presented at the Monroeville Literary Festival and the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention. She often wonders if jasmines are really her favorite flowers. Follow her on Twitter: @jas_flow.