Artificial Flower Garden

Sara McGuirk

this condition we're in might be decorative
elsewhere. in sight & yet out of context.

a mantel to your fantasy. the bow
in each miniature debutant's hair.

               all some people want
is something so simple.

the pony for the small coil
of her ride. the penny

loafers for their sheen. two
royal dollops, a curtsy, a
               twirl. it makes me sick.

smothered in petals the scent
of potpourri. false petals refusing

to fall. refusing their love-me/love-me
-not. excuse me this chambray tie

this cummerbund, these plain chops,
these dull lips. I’ve no guilt for gild's sake.
               perhaps a teaspoon

exhibitionist. a ballerina twisting
under some witch’s spell. I’m sure
               it makes you sick

               to see me now. yes,
even the honeybees dodge

each wilted hyacinth, the buried cock’s
comb, & blackened bloodroot.

yes, even the honeybees turn their cheeks.
are off to fresher buds. & yes, perhaps

               it stung. but no, I said nothing
               of their stingers. the stinger       
                              has nothing to do with it.