Nina Corwin

Interior With Artificial Leaves

What I meant to say, but the crop of false fruit kept intruding, is that
doorbells are not destiny. They have no teeth. Split infinities while
waiting for a ring.
When you come, you come without warning labels or guarantees
(black box from a bastion of caveat emptor). All I ask is the insider’s
The leaves have a theme song. It’s inspired by all those lullabies
with falling babies and broken branches. I’ll sing you a snatch before
the future explodes our foregone conclusion:
The heart is a minefield awaiting its moment. It bruises when served
open-faced. Parentheticals wipe their feet on every act of contrition.
Above the sink, a cylinder of light winks like it’s in on the deal.
I got a call last month from a woman who uncorked a bottle of
noxious recollections. She asked if I could put them back.
I tried to tell her there’s always a stain that won’t scrub, but my
tongue became a fountain spouting wishful thoughts. After that,
I planted my spleen beneath the bed to see if anything would grow.
Now, my duct work is choking with vines, woodpeckers hit their
heads against a concrete tree. Rakes are no match for the mess
that spreads between us.
I have a dangling proposition: part apostle in the garden, part storm
in your escape route. A dim bulb’s hope for harvesting sunrise from
shrapnel and sawdust –
Let’s say we blow up the second act and spatter gold paint on what’s
left. Send hope to the front lines to mop up the spills while we sleep.

Nina Corwin
“Interior With Artificial Leaves” first appeared in Verse.