by Anne Champion
Dry leaves blade the wind, an ambush,
the smell of musty lace, sour
chloroform. I dodge, turn
to hold my breath against the gust’s
icy assault. The wind tangles
my hair to knots. You materialize,
unwashed, unrecognizable, a corpse
coming too near, knowing
I am always half-willing and half-horrified,
tempted and repulsed by strangeness.
You offer your truths: a bouquet
of dead tulips in a beggar’s hands.
I refuse them this time. I look
anywhere but your eyes—
everything is decay.
Anne Champion is the author of Reluctant Mistress, a poetry collection released by Gold Wake Press in 2013. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Behavioral Psychology from Western Michigan University and received her MFA in Poetry at Emerson College. Her work appears in Cider Press Review, PANK Magazine, The Aurorean, The Comstock Review, Poetry Quarterly, Line Zero, Thrush Poetry Journal and elsewhere. She was a 2009 Academy of American Poets Prize recipient, a Pushcart Prize nominee and a St. Botolph Emerging Writer Grant nominee. She currently teaches writing and literature in Boston, MA. Visit her here.