When he found her in the closet 

purring to tunics about sublime wine

he called a trial-and-errorist

who prescribed a flower cure

at the temple on the hilltop.

Palliative scrolls said: let lemon trees, 

let orange blossoms, let tulips and let go.

Bleeding cups were added to the mix.

The slave girls in the bougainvillea garden 

could not shut down her shaking. 

They brewed anemones in a tureen

and dunked her breasts and ass. 

They beat her with stems

and promised a new map. 

She said: If I cannot slow time

I will refuse memory. 

The slave girls wished to choke her.

They began walking backwards

plucking cherries from trees for insertion.

They buried her mirror in violets

but was it about that?

The temple filled with smells of rot.

The temple filled with smells of sweet.

Overhead, Venus reclined in paint.




Snow tonight, brain 

of the frightened rabbit

and heart shaped 

like a donut. 

Feels Iíll never know 

quiet again. Walk me 

to a room on high alert 

and bring friends.

There is a chance 

we could ripple 

hushful; something 

about the sum of us 

works best.



Melissa Broder is the author of two books of poems, Meat Heart forthcoming in 2012 from Publishing Genius and When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother. She edits La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series in NYC. Poems appear or are forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Redivider, The Collagist, Opium Magazine, et al.