I step into a blossom weary London
           looking for a path to loll on

  when a neighbor stops to ask me
                               if the children died

  with dignity and suddenly petal heavy
      March is the only wreath that fits me.

    All the other mothers want closure
to come via party, a garish invitation

      to the cemetery, some silver balloons
            to crotch the breeze while they pat dry

    their hors d’oeuvres-shoved cheeks.  No.
            I once thought death was our chance

        to be glorious, that dying was designed
                    to divine the precious, that ceasing

     to be meant to sift through the bullshit,
                       but death is a fog, not a focus,

          it has hands where in life only eyes
                             could grope us, it’s a strobe

                    whose flashes are built to expose us.
                               Why cluster around the afterlife

          as if its flame shapes as it decomposes?
                   As if melted is the only way

              to get what God owes us? If belief
                   is a kind of happiness, then it’s the flesh

   of my children to which I’m devoted.
          The peach bloom of Wendy in any August,

       John and Michael thigh high in crocus:
                   This is prayer at its peak –

no dust-dimmed page or grave has this gate,
          so forgive me if it’s my progeny

                I seek, not some hearse-horny deity.







Alexa Doran is the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019), and is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. Her series of poems about the women of Dada, “The Octopus Breath on Her Neck,” was recently released as part of Oxidant/Engine’s BoxSet Series Vol 2. You can also look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of Glass, Mud Season Review, Conduit, storySouth and Permafrost, among others. For a full list of her publications, awards, and interviews please visit her website. You can also find her on twitter @realLEXcalibur.