circling the multitudes of ovules yellow as late corn.
I did not pluck them
like a feather thief from their leathery beds
but gathered blooms
from where they’d fallen and scattered their bodies
across the capstones.
Don’t be afraid to touch them. The day
will always be full
of reasons to stop breathing. Lie down. Lie down
and feel the rivers shift,
blue veins through soil. Place a petal on each eye.
Let them blush you
into waking. Let them say you met my passing with a kiss, their skins,
soft and veined as yours.
Lois P. Jones was a finalist for two poems in the 2018 Terrain.org Poetry Contest judged by Jane Hirshfield. Other awards include the Lascaux Poetry Prize in 2018, the Bristol Poetry Prize in 2017 judged by Liz Berry and the Tiferet Poetry Prize, with work thrice listed for the Bridport Prize and the National Poetry Competition. Jones has work published or forthcoming in Guerinca Editions, New Voices: Contemporary Writers Confronting the Holocaust, Narrative, and American Poetry Journal. Her poem “Reflections on La Scapigliata” was one of 30 film-poem collaborations for the 2019 Visible Poetry Project. She is the poetry editor for Kyoto Journal and the host of Pacifica Radio’s Poets Café on KPFK.
Header photo by Lois P. Jones. Photo of Lois P. Jones taken at Les Armures Restaurant, Geneva, Switzerland by Lia Brooks.