By: Leah Tieger

Patient for flowers and being loved
she will stand in line and wait
when her lilies fall to the ground. 
She watches you watching her
so she picks them up
and eats them
orders more
puts each color in her mouth
the melting stems collected there
a flood inside her, 
mouth to mouth a rescue
of water from fountain. 
Cold metal and chlorine
are bent over ceramic bowl
in her baptismal lapping. 
Rounding the circle
where body folds into itself
she searches for center
drawing it out
plucking petals away from skin.
If she loves and loves you not
each repetition
will be closer to empty daisy, 
nothing left but pistil until
she decides to swallow that too. 
She devours the whole thing
even her fingers
and smiles at what’s left of them. 
She wipes her mouth
and tries to yawn. Instead, 
she belches out a garden

Only Her Name Returns
By: Leah Tieger

She fastens dropped blooms with pins and resin, with thread and tape. They fall
on her floor faster than she can fix them. She lets them go, a whole carpet under her feet, 
a tiny hill, a mountain. Hikers pay her to guide them up its peak, to carry their luggage
with a small pack of goats. Scientists come to study the trees. They come to study a new
marsupial, name it and her mountain after themselves. Her house is covered                    
in their bootprints. She tries to scrub them and then she lets them go, layer after layer,      
a new carpet to cover dead petals. Their soil yields fern and small grasses. Roses come
and fall again. They grow mountains like jagged teeth and she climbs them all,      
furrows each canyon, finds a cave she can swim in. She searches until only her name
returns, her name whispered by hikers, carved in the wood that was once her front door.


Leah Tieger is an M.A. candidate at the University of North Texas, a frequent collaborator with Spiderweb Salon, and host of WordSpace’s Looped readings in Dallas. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Entropy, Rattle, Gravel, and Menacing Hedge. You can find her chapbook here: