“Inquietude” by Flower Conroy


The body doesn’t lie.
Once a great breath

visited me. Nitric chill
filling my room sour.

Not animal—not skunk
though, if spooked, they’d spray

their sulfurous mist
into the summery darkness.

It was as if a snow globe, drained
of its solution enveloped me—

how sharp the air & walls.
When I’d lower my lids,

a wind tunnel funneled my head.
The sheet slinked from me,

pooled on the floor.
I’d gather it up but it’d slip

from me. If I opened my eyes,
monastic silence rinsed me.

All quieted, an injury
to the air. Like a sleepwalker,

like an insomniac
fish, I fell asleep wide-eyed.

So leviathan were my eyes
when I woke, I had to blink

& blink back the scales
of a thousand centuries contained

in the few hours that that body
of night was. Like trying

to capture a waterfall
in a thimble

or straining a blizzard
with a cheesecloth.

Tinnitus. Or some other
diagnoses. Autohypnosis.

Sleep-paralysis. Pain meat.
& not some ghost

descending upon me.
Not lungs. Nostrils

widening. I told no one.
Fur in my mouth.

Sand funneling
my ears.

After all,
the body doesn’t lie.


Flower Conroy Punch Drunk Press’s third Featured Woman Poet this August! She is the author of the chapbooks Facts About Snakes & HeartsThe Awful Suicidal Swans; and Escape to Nowhere.  Her poetry has appeared in American Literary ReviewPrairie Schooner, Gargoyle and other journals. She is the current Poet Laureate of Key West. 

Featured image by Eberhard Grossgasteiger

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