“The Language of Flowers”

Published in RED INK: International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, & Humanities (Spring 2017).

The Language of Flowers

a songbird swallows a bud that blooms in its gut
snaking up the esophagus
like my mother swore couldn’t happen

hollowing its stem and
laying petals across the soft pink throat
along the rigid inside of the narrow beak

where out spill pollen and stamen—
each call a blush of dust
every song a fluttering of leaves

“Under mango green”

Published in the Amore: Love Poems anthology (Spring 2016).

Under mango green

sheets, down comforter
the tropical colors of
papayas’ and cantaloupes’

inner fruit, your walls pomegranate,
avocado furniture, ceiling a bright plum.
We would slurp mango slices
on piled pillows, legs tangled together,

juices dripping from our wrists,
your soft chin, lips skating
across the heel of a hand,
trailing sticky liquid behind.

I never got to tell you how
those tastes influenced me:
my love of fleshy unknown fruits,
of lush brazen women, the way

I still think of you when I savor
sweet juice creeping down my chin.