In Your Dark Garden – Ariel Kusby

All I wanted was a white sheet in a white room 
and your milk body, too.

A bed where each time you’d make me a stranger 
      and we could frenzy   
                       like moths tethered to light.  

A temporary blindness, summertime.

What then of the black flowers 
that grew inside, contortions 

            allowed: bruises, 
            slow-opening blood-lilies?

Because I was your little pressed flower, translucent 
       the red sheet
where I’d always bloom but never 
                           quite enough.

Ariel Kusby is a writer and bookseller based in Portland, Oregon. She currently works in the Rose and Orange rooms at Powell’s City of Books, where she pays special attention to children’s books about witches, odd cookbooks, and gnome gardening guides. You can check out her writing at

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