EMILY O’NEILL

A Thousand Yellow Daisies

 

exactly that field in the highway clover-
leaf where nobody stops properly

or to pick anything but glass
out of their tires. dirty scrub

trees & raccoon carcasses. little
hands in tiny black gloves. this funeral

called traveling. highway, only constant
in motion & static at once. the flowers try

following along as they’re abandoned.
nobody makes their beds or leaves

breakfast in a pan like all the movies
I couldn’t star in. exit like a drain.

bodies—tinned herring, sliding along.
the girl doesn’t know about the blood

on the windshield. the cigarette that killed
an entire history of forests. water shoveled

from river to fire, river to fire. mountain iced
with elk. just over the Idaho border there’s rock

blasting. no flowers in the dry flat of Washington
state, only potatoes. Russet. fingerling. Yukon

gold. I can taste butter beyond the smoke.
is my chin gold too? will we marry before

the crest of summer, front hallway swollen
ocean of yellow daisies? no. the flowers are hot-

house (all wrong) a promise should be wild
like Susan’s eyes or the elephant grass teased

by a semi. this isn’t the route we mapped
out. the plan was to discard the plan.

BIO: Emily O’Neill is a writer, artist, and proud Jersey girl. You can pick her brain at http://emily-oneill.com.

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