Bri Ollre, Daphne’s Burning


I stitch a bluebonnet into my left thigh using
The embroidery needle from my mother’s sewing kit
Tracing the bell tone bruises of purple with blue
Petals and green leaves that travel across
My skin in the same way a hand would dance
Across my cheek full of rage that starts with whiskey
and ends with that bluebonnet highway
scarring my porcelain skin with wildflowers
that bloomed while I wasn’t looking.


So, this is how it ends:

They will find me in my bed
Half eaten by cats,

Reborn at Ernest’s house in Key West
Nibbling on extra toes,

Living in the pits of Rome with the mangled,
Sunbathing on Corinthian columns.

Stare at the night sky and find me
Lounging on the moon.

A shooting star will erupt
And I fall with it.

That’s How You Know I Mean it

I say it to him plainly, if not rushed in my fluster to just get it out.
How I always am, hastening to get it over with, to be done with it.
Why can’t I just enjoy the moment?
To press your face to my breast and take a deep breath and enunciate
each word how I mean it
No, instead I will blow it into your mouth with a kiss, my tongue
Reaching for words wrapped within your skull, teasing them out
Like my hands between our thighs.

Daphne’s Burning

She turns to water beneath the bark of the laurel tree
Trading sap for shade with the leaves that gather
Around her hollow body

Feasted on by mushrooms that rise out between
The roots that were her legs and her arms and now her only
Reach in this dark world

Where his footsteps have beaten the grass so that it never grows
Allowing her roots to burn in the light of that heady sun
Her victory won below

Bri Ollre is a poet and short story writer living in Cork, Ireland, originally from Kemah, Texas. She is in her last semester of the Creative Writing Master’s program at University College Cork.


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