Ghost Flowers
Carolyn Elliott

I am dreaming of new death
and old life.

One night I'm carrying the corpse of
a full-grown man inside my womb.

Another, I'm weeping beside the
shallow grave of a dead baby--

then suddenly the baby starts to
breathe and stir again, miraculously alive.

The corpse tells me: I am a grave.
The baby tells me: the grave is a womb.

We are all being born out of a grave.
We are all dead inside a womb.

Here, in the mud, in the cold
We swim in the blood, in the heat.

Here we are ghost flowers,
bruised and blooming in the banker's park.

Here we push up from the ground,
thriving on the rot of the dead world.

Devouring its organs and skin.

They think we will leave
in the winter.

They think we will flee
the wind and the ice.

But we are children of this cold.
We have lived all our lives
in perpetual winter.

In the winter of consumption, alienation, untruth.
We have lived all our lives in the winter
of their system.

We are stirring now up out of the grave
into which we were born.

We are the ghost flowers
that breathe in the moon and the rot,
that make beauty out of winter and death.

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