Teri Grimm, author of our poem of the week, is the author of Dirt Eaters (University of Florida Press) and the forthcoming Becoming Lyla Dore (Red Hen Press, 2016). She teaches in the University of Nebraska’s low-res MFA program. More of her work can be found in Volume 1, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.
THIS IS HOW IT ENDS
By Teri Grimm
As they’re dying, I want my lovers to think of me,
my hair draped silk across their chests,
my calculated breath creating small summits
of skin I conquered many times before
in Catalina, the Garden of Allah, balconies,
desks and office couches. Reverie will tempt
their tongues to slip through lips like small snakes.
I’m the charmer urging their mouths into a parting kiss.
Careworn wives think they need a drink, offer ice chips
and rest sad hands on their arms, heavy as overripe pears.
But they turn away, move toward the fragrant shade
of memory’s hair. Sweet like orange blossoms.
Behind my ear it’s white as orange blossoms.
I’m the secret you will keep from this world
spills from my mouth in soft petals. My face dissolves
into so many petals, they cannot blink them away.