Grace Gilbert


dashboard flowers

            i’ve kept them,
the ones you picked wild,
            as a sort of sad abacus—to show
how i am learning
            something about love,
that there are apertures—
            like the way you have become
this heavy space
            between wanting and having—
dense like summer dusk,
            like you & i cross-legged and ending
with silence and the sluggish pond,
            watching a moon grow back into itself—
like these grassland mosquitos
            which i know are feasting
but i refuse to see them—not yet,
            until dawn does what it does best, exposes
my limbs to be an ugly canvas,
            a manifestation
of thoughtless prolonging—
            & i chose this, i did—
these swollen limbs, singed blooms,
            all a lesson of the weakness
in thinking that every expansion
            is a type of growth.


GRACE GILBERT is a finalist in Sweet Lit‘s 2018 poetry contest. Most recently, her words can be found in Anomaly Lit, Twyckenham Notes, Pretty Owl Poetry, Maudlin House, and Gandy Dancer. She enjoys fine cheese. Or processed cheese. Oh, and Star Wars.