"I find the headiness of the acrid,
almost urinary scent unbearable,..."

More Perihelion:

Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

Need to Know



Issue 11: The Necessary Eye

Issue 10: Out on a Limb

Issue 9: The Missing Body

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Melissa Ahart

Sommer Browning

Sarah Busse

devin wayne davis

Karen D'Amato

Yaakov Fichman

Donna Johnson

Vera Kroms

Li Bo

Li Qingzhao

Ander Monson

Christopher Mulrooney


Todd Samuelson

Maria Terrone

Mihai Ursachi

Sophie Wadsworth

G.C. Waldrep

Martha Zweig

Todd Samuelson


Silent and gestural, these mottled lilies
knife open to intricacy in a motion
abruptly similar to your own:
like lovers, through long nearness
youíve come to resemble one another.

Itís visible in each bloomís
freckling, like the cream-froth
complexion grading your shoulders.
Or the veins mazing the translucent fabric
of these petals and of your eyelids.

Still, what to compare to the porcelain-tipped
pistilís eagerness, trembling forward
in its pelvic-thrust approximation of sexuality?
(For the flower, no parody, pollination
being the erotic of the floral) --

I find the headiness of the acrid,
almost urinary scent unbearable,
a cue for love and for decay in one,
becoming stronger as blossoms wilt
and colors brighten to brittleness.

Which leads me to consider the way
I have been marked. I enter rooms
with stained fingers or jaundiced face,
the saffron of each stamen undusted
bald as velvet upholstery, years-worn.