Ella Flores

Deciduous (Evening in a Polar Vortex)
March 23, 2020 Flores Ella

Deciduous (Evening in a Polar Vortex)



Blanket, you hear, means to cover,
not to warm.
You watch her pupils fall
back into their rooms, her ears unfold
as the shards of your hacking


subside. Soft, red phlegm lines your sleeve.
Your body has violence in it. She sneaks
an arm under your neck, to pillow,
too bony—but to hold you: a last impression


left molded into bedsheets. Someone,
right now, is dying.
It isn’t you. You leave
a dream resting beside her body as you
find yours there, under the dead


trees who can’t say we’re not
really. Their icicles bloom toward your skin,
their shivering sun. It ashes, splits your pale
face into spectra, shows the trees the future


bedroom they’ll one day be
folded into. They offer no response.
It’s so far now, and alone of you. Here,
the wind chills your phlegm


into sculptures. A hand soothes
your bark. It isn’t hers. Someone,
right now, is being born.
But it can’t be you.

Ella Flores currently resides in Marquette, MI. Her recent and forthcoming work can be found in RHINO Poetry, Harpur Palate, Nimrod, and Willow Springs.