LGBTQ+ poet Flower Conroy is the author of the chapbooks Facts About Snakes & Hearts, The Awful Suicidal Swans, and Escape to Nowhere. Her poetry has appeared in American Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review and other journals. She is the current Poet Laureate of Key West, FL.
Mattress with Door
I don’t know anymore I don’t know what kind of thing I’m
supposed to be: wood
door or the mattress it rests upon or
the juxtaposition and conjunction of those domestic items discarded in the alley between buildings.
The resting position of one upon the other.
Is domestic the right word for it, it seems more
statement, a declaration; I shall not stay, or
that ‘no way out but through,’ or this is as I am. This is as I am and I may as well be the tornado’s
leftover soup, the aftermath of god knows what goes on in the mind of the
wind. The image—I mean as the objects were in the daylight—the white-painted brass-knobbed
panel door lain upon the stripped mattress, the mattress itself lain
upon the bed of the earth. It was arresting, the light slanting through tree.
The tree’s shape, I mean, not through the tree itself
as if the bark and leaves were glass; that’s just inaccurate, it’s not what I meant. It seems the clearer I
speak the less I say. There was a door. The door was
discarded on what was once someone’s bed. Of course I thought of loss but whose?
Some say it’s a way to placate filling a void, resolving
to purge that which can be purged and manifest that which
can be manifested. But what to do with the 3D assemblages
I’ve been meaning to bring into existence, noodling
around with bones and butterflies, insects and angels
once I’ve finished? I keep thinking I’m the kind of person
who can just walk away. Relinquish, forego, abandon, shed.
That I’ll not only slip into that dress again but have somewhere
to go and the desire to go there.