Bret Shepard

Anthophobia
by Bret Shepard

Because the car drives too fast into nothing

but horizon and other cars

look like flowers out of focus, broken alive

in fields. Because you can’t believe

how a bed oscillates between comfort

and suffocation by sheets. Because

flowers replace gravesites like candles replace

light the body needs. Because smells

live deeper than touch. Because water washes

even determined insects from petals

and people, and people pull out their desires

come the springtime, because people

can never bloom enough to make the world

more than machine, even if they want

blood. Because the threat is often more a smell

and then a pinching inside the body.

Because the cry you hear is a child standing

on a flowerbed tended

by his dying mother.

Because all things die by candlelight or stem.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 1.

Bret ShepardAfter living in Alaska and California, Bret Shepard completed his PhD at the University of Nebraska. Currently, he lives in Tacoma, Washington and teaches at Green River College. He is the author of Negative Compass, winner of the Wells College Chapbook Prize.

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