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Taking the Economy to the Greenhouse

We blossom florid, bipedal pink dogwoods in this glass temple. We’re here for perennials, last frost date be damned, because we are inflation-hot.  We are the locus, where the x and y axes meet, where talking heads say inflection point repeatedly.  This must be your erogenous zone, so let’s vote to stimulate with our wallets.  You ask for potting soil mixed with freshly ground coffee, swirled with shaved obsidian.  O Comptroller, not everyone has your penchant for emerging markets of commerce.  But don’t tamp down those animal spirits.  Don’t choose recession.  Check out the succulent’s tagline:  thrive on neglect.  What genius!  Yes, collapse to your knees, confess your tryst with a spray-tanned marketing intern, his inspiration behind your urge to wax yourself smooth, your long nights where he whispered demand must outstrip supply to excite me.  You always said B-school ideas aren’t worth a Ruble until subjected to the consumer’s whimsical crucible.  In this magnified light, bronze specks outshine the green in your irises, proof that scarcity and shame are our bonds.    


The Worst Thing

This is not a poem about a bride who locks herself in the bathroom or the same woman who stuffs an RV full of clothes and trail mix and canteens but slashes her own tires before merging onto the interstate.  This is a poem that takes place years earlier when she wakes up with frozen feet.  It’s 6:30am, and her feet are vitrined behind ice.  She didn’t leave the window open.  (Only monsters sleep socked).  Her remaining body radiates heat beneath the comforter and quilt.  This is not a poem about being a cadaver from the ankle down.  She grabs match and candle atop the dresser, but the flame splits and arches away from what is not fire.  She recites her geology professor’s warning that some glaciers move so slowly as to imperceptibly encroach on the land.  Her mother’s words echo:  the worst thing you can do is never start.  This is a poem about her mom’s errant advice.  She grabs nail polish orange like pumpkin or summer light filtered through power plant particulates, begins to paint the ice-locked toes.  The rest of her leg is a smooth expanse until her knee.  The thermostat is downstairs.  She could turn it down to hasten the process.  But this poem is not in a hurry, and she realizes her first mistake was believing the world demanded another witness.    




Jason Fraley is a native West Virginian who lives and works in Columbus, OH. He has work forthcoming in Word For/Word, Quarter After Eight, and Juke Joint. Prior publications include DIAGRAM, Caketrain,Copper Nickel, and Forklift OH.