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greenhouse fervor 

Alexandra Halaby

lazy as this pink snapdragon                 stretched across

its soaked bed                you lay your head                  over the arm

of the corner chair poised                   in our sweat our sunlight

your glitter my               smeared gloss the string of ants on

the window sill look                 like a piece of your hair

long obedient oily      there’s a missing brick beneath

the latch rust         as tough as my callouses and damp

to the touch in this         120 degrees of freedom

my scissors          magnificent I grab the flower by its neck         lift it

above the wire and cut       one of the ants pirouettes

on the plastic eye of your teddy       your fuzzy blue octopus

on its head         tentacles showering        around its body  

staring at me like a master in her         vision       you’re

wearing the same blouse your mom did in this photo

I love that actress the one that       reminds you of your uncle

but           I don’t know her              name

your leather collar open across your pillow        like my

legs were hours ago         on the bureau there’s

your READY TO TAKE SHIT belt buckle         bobby pins

and a pile      of your cuticle bits     you wore it last time

I saw you with the Tims and baseball hat         that was

the summer I met death a third time and died        now

sweat shines on my forearms                     now my veins throb

under this        muted plastic like                worms when they reach

the top soil       fingertips yellow from pollen           brown

with dirt                 dry from fertilizer            thumb sliced under

the digit          fever, wake me           in my sleep and               I’ll

swallow your spit              lick your lips reach             behind

your neck           grab hold of              your hair

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