by: Meghan E. Giles
Liquored, you drive us
while the other couples
are honeymooned in their hotels.
That rose bouquet I caught,
dying, already, and we
pass the spot where you pulled over
and hit me, hit me
next to wildflowers and tar.
How my tin can bruise
has bloomed like bluebonnets
outgrown of soil skin, a handful
of bluebonnets, a yellow yarrow,
two prairie larkspurs, pressed
between tissue, a tattoo raised
on my thigh, there, peeking
out beneath the cotton
foliage of my dress—a gift.
A West Texas native, Meghan is currently a MFA candidate at McNeese State University and the Managing Editor for The McNeese Review. She was recently a Contributor at the 2015 Sewanee Writers' Conference.
Q: This poem complicates the issue of domestic violence in a way we’d never seen before. When I first read this poem, the ease with which the speaker ‘receives’ such a violent moment with such a soft-spoken voice was heartbreakingly beautiful. With that in mind, what was it you hoped to accomplish by conflating the domestic, horrible experience with pastoral, natural beauty of native wildflowers?
A: I wasn't intending to conflate this experience, but rather to explore a situation that has happened to me that this poem is closely based off of. I was hoping to explore the complication of being in a relationship with someone you deeply care about although he/she is violent and the relationship is dangerous. Although there is a natural beauty to wildflowers, plants are aggressive beneath the surface, and what we see above ground is a result of that violence.