Anna B. Wilkes


I hate the sound of my own voice,
the way it sprouts out.
My tongue wilts when it flowers,
so I write down the word hyacinth
I like the way my eyes bloom
around the letters,
I don't have to show my teeth
to taste the typed petals.

The elegant shape
of the flower and the word
is what I want to be—
ornamental, that lovely y,
a pale, empty womb, a stamen
sucked by a buzzing dash
of yellow then devoured.

Someone else's belly would be full
of my crushed ovarian powder,
dust ripening into honey
in some distant, precise geometry.
I'd be book-ended by h and h, contained.

The heavy bee pulls the powder out
but the petals are still and stately,
no sound or weeping when he flies off.

Anna B. Wilkes earned her MFA in poetry at Rutgers University-Newark and her BA in English from the University of Tennessee. She currently teaches English composition at Rutgers. She was a guest reader at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 2014, and a recipient of the Margaret Artley Woodruff award for poetry in 2012. Her work has been featured in Apogee, Regardless of Authority, and The Satir

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