Gardening with Severed Green Thumb

by Jake Bailey

Wavelet spectrums unfold as monads,
as spheric shards of fraudulent flowers.

They come in a soliloquy for temporal tuna
fish flayed for bone buckets, hoisted
and filled with arterial frogs.

This is what happens
when you drink from the river.
This is what happens
when you eat raw bear.

Chlorine caterpillars inch to the beat of falling timber,
thwack throttled tenants raining from teeth.
They bite through cauterized, crack-red carapace,
shuck the shell rent from rubble
of Rorschach stamped eyes.

The tortoise will stop them to ask for a jump,
the acorn will strike them with cancerous lumps.

Excise them and smear
them across vacuum cleared carcass,
paint blindness in blankets of garbage-quilt crags.

There’s a bite-sized desert
where they meet for communion,
where rodents run rampant in runoff from sin—

Take this body and bind it
to barren, clear blood from the tongue
of idle mouthed moths.

The shepherd will sheer them
and stitch greasy scarves,
the empress will tempt them
and ask who they are.

This is leftovers
baked in the sun.
This is leftovers
giving you runs.

Depress the button, a unicyclist juggling pill bottles
into an ad for anti-fungal cream:

“Are you happy

with pigeons eating your shoes?

Are you tired

of insects making it through?”

The TV turns off and the garden grows in,
bloom-sheathed bulbs
technicolor reliquaries—

Each flower unfolds
as selves in a jar,
each petal peels softly
as banana on tar.

Jake Bailey is a schizotypal confessionalist in Antioch University Los Angeles’ MFA program and the co-editor of poetry for Lunch Ticket. He has published or forthcoming work in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Parentheses Journal, FlyPaper Magazine, The Laurel Review, Barren Magazine, and elsewhere. Twitter: @SaintJakeowitz