Ode to the Artichoke


by Bobby Parrott


O Artichoke, fibrous bud, unblooming flower,
   thorny thistle armor-encased and monstrous
behind prick of inflicting needle, our blood
    in drops onto a world of low twin suns—

Freud’s own dream flower, your leafy volcano
   my love and I unwrap, our fingers buttered
blind. Candles flicker and drip. Vegan libido
   bleeds, each petal dipped into singing bowl,

drawn between teeth clenched to possess
   your green mouth, tongue slicked swallow
a mushroom-scented delirium. Outside,
   the wind moans, knows nothing of this

opening, this release of wings, steamed flesh
   into warm bodies. Yet we hear the trees
and their children speak through our leaves
   as we find under your choke a final prize—

Your succulent heart we devour slowly, sweetly,
   its downy haze flavor the spilling of our years.
Digest our bud in stages; share us as we you,
   Layers as pages, leaves in greening’s book.


Bobby Parrott’s universe frequently reverses polarity, slipping his meta-cortex into the unknowable dimensions between breakfast and adulthood. In his own words, “The intentions of trees are a form of loneliness we climb like a ladder.” Immersed in a forest-spun jacket of toy dirigibles, this queer writer dreams himself out of formlessness in the chartreuse meditation capsule of Fort Collins, Colorado where he lives with his partner Lucien, his houseplant Zebrina, and his wind-up robot Nordstrom.


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