Down by the docks, America Jimenez
jettisons into the bay the snapped head
of a marigold she uprooted from its soil.
Barely a teen, she already suspects she’s loved
all the wrong men: the white Christ from her religion
book, Jamestown’s murderous Pilgrims, and Jimmy,
two grades ahead, who tried to reach under her shirt
on the bus before she brought the flower pot down.
A trace of diesel on the water, a promise
that something will burn, America
counts the seconds it takes
before the bobbing orange bloom
hits a piece of trash and goes under.
Lynn Marie Houston has published her poetry in over thirty literary journals and in three collections: The Clever Dream of Man (Aldrich Press), The Mauled Keeper (Main Street Rag, forthcoming) and Chatterbox (Word Poetry Books, forthcoming). She is the editor-in-chief of Five Oaks Press.