Two Poems

Kim Michalak

Dead Upon Arrival

I awoke from visions of birthing
            two virile green snakes from my chest
            just beneath the right collarbone,
            the third left decaying inside me
Triplets of time: past, present, &
            future dead upon arrival

What the Flowers Know

The scent of lilies followed us
home from the hospital in a swollen
blue vase deemed appropriate
to welcome our little boy.
Dead center of the dining table,
they filled our modest rental
with a memorial smell,
lingering whisper of death.
Four times a night I closed my eyes
to flashes of my baby asphyxiating —
(SIDS a looming reaper)
& each time I awoke to hungry cries
their scent reminded me
I have no idea how to keep my boy alive.

Kim Michalak is a Florida-based poet, mother, and optical stylist. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University and serves as an associate poetry editor for The Fourth River. Her works can be found in Brushing, Rose Red Review, and Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing