by Rachel Marie Patterson

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 ReviewFugueRedividerThe Greensboro Review, and Clementine Magazine. She lives and works in Philadelphia.