Peony

A rose withers to a decorative casting of herself

Illustration of Kateri Lanthier

I’m the peony’s spectacular collapse.
A rose withers to a decorative casting of herself,
brittle ringlets tiara-tarrying in prettiness perpetual.
But the peony’s a smash hit, a one-downpour wonder,
10,000 tulle-shell loose lips,
a thunder chord of labia in major and minor.
Orchidaceous, power of ten. A flaming bedhead
downward grinning, midstride of pride,
flagrant, disinhibited with age.
Confectionary blossom, delirium fleur du mal.
Drowned perfume, a hurricane furled in your throat.

Kateri Lanthier
Kateri Lanthier was awarded the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize. Her most recent collection is Siren.

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