Calla by Kara Synhorst

When I was nineteen I bought
a calla lily from a farm stand,
and I sat at a coffee shop and smelled it
until it touched my lips, and then I put it
between my lips, hoping no one would notice, and
then I bit it a little, not with top and bottom teeth
but teeth and lip, to see how it resisted, and then I covered
my whole face with it, like a mask,
then wore it like a hat, slinking there in the corner,
hoping no one would see,
then stretched its spathe over my hair like a veil,
I wore it like a bridal gown,
fell inside it, sliding down the spadix like a
tiny and clever pole dancer, or flower fireman,
and then I emerged, emerged, covered in
yellow pollen, born new, soft to the teeth.


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