To a Girl

by Rachel Marie Patterson

Yesterday, you walked the street
with your arms full of tulips,
their quivering blooms pecking
your chin as you climbed the stairs
to your apartment. The city
is now so familiar, you did not
bend toward the bright taxi laying
on its horn across the street,
did not blink or fumble your keys
as you balanced your cargo with
elbows and knees against the outside
wall and let yourself inside, then bolted
the door behind you. The tulips
were yellow, yellow and red, with
scalloped edges. Some were
covering your lips. Or was it you?
You were in profile, moving quickly.
When the petals grazed you,
you did not flinch.

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.