lays a swamp of leaves
light green to glaucous
oval to cordate
little hearts swarmed with powdery bloom.
Lilac leaves from a lilac tree
arranged neatly in small clonal thickets
of twiggy growths on shoots
in whorls of three.
I snipped some flowers with my shears
about a day ago
lilacs for my lilac vase
which sometimes substitutes
as a jar. Today my lilacs are lovely
dead. Even lovelier than before.
It’s gotta be that awfully terrific
stench, you know,
that corpse flower stink
it must’ve slithered up their skinny ankles
while I slept
and curled around their necks
shimmying softly so as not to be heard
straight into their gaping mouths
dressing tongues in winter clothes
and curdling each and every tooth.
What a stink! Alarming! Jarring!
Fresh and foul as a few hours
after final breath in the sun.
Such pretty purple royalty
shouldn’t reek of funeral homes.
They’re supposed to smell
like sunlit spring
not rotten autumn eves.
But if you plug your nose
you’d never even know
that those pretty petals
aren’t perfumed like living flowers are,
they’ve been deadheaded
but for a little while savor plump incorruptibility
my little purple saints!
Heaven smashed in every silky fold
out of every pore.
Gena LeBlanc is a recent graduate of Bennington College where she studied literature and religious history. Her senior thesis was a collection of short stories and biblical exegeses about the Judeo-Christian Devil. She first began reading poetry in high school, appreciating it for its archaic beauty and melancholic mood. Since high school, however, she has had the opportunity to study poetry more broadly and is continually astounded by all that it can do. It is an art form she hopes will never die out. Gena has been published in Microfiction Monday Magazine and ElectricCereal.