New Voices at LM / Poetry · 3 May 2020

Richie Becomes a Rocket Flower


W I L L  S C H M I T



My friend took a job
impersonating hollyhock
outside the detox cell window.

The first day he stood
in a long stoop
to fool the bees.

You know how uncertain a new job feels
shifting like a Catholic from foot to knee,
not knowing what to do with your hands.

Inside the building people were busy
or putting up fingernail sculptures.

Remember, this is January
so the sky is the color
of pearled peril.

The gardener’s wait for the sun lozenge
to dissolve
before tripping the sprinklers.

Only an hour ‘til the whistle blows.
But who’s counting hours, except Richie
the rocket flower?








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