by Abigail Giroir

Third Place: *The David Middleton Poetry Prize*

I walk through her fields—new
earth, untouched—her legs
heavy stalks of sunflowers,
golden buds extending, pressing
their faces to light.
Scarlet-blossomed poppies
field her belly, quivering,
fragile life filling her up and over—
opiate balloon. Nightshade,
black and glistening, pearls
along arteries—purple
infection. Thought like thickets
dense and deep, pierce
thorns behind her eyelids—
impenetrable grove.

I’ll never cut her hair or her legs.
And when her body stretches, thrives, ignites,
I will let it.