When my grandmother visits I smell a wisp of floral fragrance. Some days it’s fresh as she showers in an alternate universe and chooses rose over lily perfume in a glass bottle with two hearts.
Her visits are brief. I may be laying fetal with a sweat soaked pillow or burying a dead iguana. His name was Kermit. Maybe I whiskey punched a brick wall and the lily feeling comes over me. Floral rolls my eyes to the back of my head.
I am inside a capsule of flowers. I headline my female roots, writing her score, channeling her Depression days: the dust bowl, the cigarettes, the lung cancer and the hoarded cans next to the oven. Corn, peas, carrots.
Flashing red stoplights and car sounds orchestrate saxophonic spasms. A saxophone digs out my eye. A chisel sculpts half of my skull into blood pulse. Screws shred bone to keep my coffin in line. Chisel sculpts half of my skull into blood pulse.
Serotonergic synapse hammer me in to the underground, case me dreams with dragons.
Open hemicrania is enough for black beetles to crawl, lapsing into the drips of pale-yellow illuminating the gray night wall. Black beetles bleed into night gray ceiling. Positron Emisson Tomography says, “raiNBOW demystifies your irideSCENT brain!” The smell of dirt is burning. Lily of the valley is burning. Hand palms wet blanket my face.
Serotonergic synapse hammer me in to the underground, case me in dreams with dragons.
I lay in a bed of floral arrangements. In certain ways they don’t go together: rose, lily, snapdragons, zinnia. My mother offers me a bouquet and I accept, run upstairs and slip it into a blue china vase. Floral is gone if I inhale again. I smell skin and litter box. Sometimes I’ll fall fast asleep, but sometimes if I stay awake the scent will come again.
-- Audrey Keiffer is a poet and artist living in Kansas City, Missouri with her two siamese cats. Audrey’s poetry and art explore themes of emotion, the unconscious, neurological and psychological conditions. She will soon receive her BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and will attempt existence in the “real world.” For more about Audrey, visit her website and her tumblr site.