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Hepatica, My Favorite Flower

Spellbound, stomach full of precious stones,
I watch you. Blurry satyr, fawn dozing,

prey on cottony greensward. Gotten goat
unwounded on the whorls of liverwort.

Man asleep on pale green cotton. Warm
man, glowing peacefully like dreaming prey.

Ticks like onyx buttons on your gray-
brown coat. Coral antler-buds in pale

brown velvet. Your pink ears in soft
gray lamplight. Tiny grunts of softening,

law-abiding happiness. The glade
is glowing. Purple liver-flowers blue

as Windex. Your peroxide irises,
stone-lidded. Hexes exit from your nose

and ears and hover on the staring knots
of blossoms. Now the barn owls case the Wald.

Squeeze-pop, from the owl-hole they hop,
their round heads spinning flat-faced in the dark.

Many men have smothered many larks
while sleeping. Many deer have crushed

many purple flowers. And they must.
I sleep in a hammock. I fly owls

most evenings. I savor your milk breath.
I watch you sleep while flowers fold to death.



Greg Allendorf’s poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Subtropics, and Beloit Poetry Journal. He holds graduate degrees from The University of Cincinnati and Purdue University. He is a PhD candidate at The University of Missouri.