the fear of insects; a genus of orchid

look at our sweet hollow faces, our bloodless faces, for we were made to be pleasing: oh how we sing our tiny fever pitch, a note that only ants can hear, to keep them gone, but not because we are afraid—look there, the sky, the yolky sun, our world— we are so lovely, men go crazy naming us: look at our coiled ghostly petals, awe-sung: we sing with our slight pink lips and eyes—but not because we are afraid—a thing so delicate as us: just imagine their gray feet as thin as hair, their little stinking bodies: imagine them near: imagine you are fine like us: of course they have come to take something from you: look, we are so beautiful you’ve gone crazy

RACHEL MARIE PATTERSON is the managing co-editor of Four Way Review. She is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Missouri. She holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her first chapbook, If I Am Burning, was released by Main Street Rag in 2011. A recipient of a 2012 Academy of American Poets Prize, her recent poems appear in Nashville Review, Fugue, Redivider, The Greensboro Review, and Clementine Magazine. She lives and works in Philadelphia.