Bottled up: a genie.
My black soul.
O help me god.
She’d offered some dry kind words.
Wine-colored. I never knew what it was
hidden within. That puffy smile.
All I knew, it must be what
I’m feeling too. A tobacco-stained
heart. Moping and churlish.
I’d arranged the flowers
in a vase. The shape of which
mattered in the way a body does
all the aesthetic work but
the soul, ah–the bloom
in a room.
How it’d went, I asked,
benevolent now. And it all depended
on the way–whether perfunctory
making, or tremulous as if coming
to something resembling peace.
The voice stoic, shaking.
“Write a visitor poem. The poem could be about being a visitor to somewhere new. Or the poem could be about hosting a visitor. Write about an expected visitor or someone who shows up by surprise.”