David Owen Miller, The Hanging Garden

The Hanging Garden

She grafted the log-lines of her unfinished scripts
to the pomegranate bush her dead husband left

Her favorite was Jesus and the river otters, the miracle
of the mud a reader called it, which produced a fruit

elliptical as a harvest sun. Then there was the cat
with the lollipop grin, a fat story she rolled and inarched

among the roots, which layered itself phrase upon phrase
into a three-lobed flower (so many people stopped

to hold it on their fingers, to press their noses to its skin
and feel the syntax stick to their cheek bones)

finally, a novella of a young pianist, the one who advertised
herself as master of Beethoven’s unheard quartets

the one who lost all faith in herself when her fingers touched
the black keys, the one whose husband died in his sleep

he left a pillow-case stuffed with origami boxes, so crisp,
so tight, she thought they were filled with coins,

that one grew long, checkered leaves that unfurled
and spilled music sotto voce in April winds.

David Owen Miller is a poet and a Latin teacher. He teaches in South LA and recently earned his MA in English/Creative Writing from LMU. His poetry has found homes in Rattle, Cold Coffee Press, the South Florida Poetry Journal, and other places.


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