Issue 5
Clematis Grows in My Grandmother’s Lungs

Clematis Grows in My Grandmother’s Lungs

She said the seed was a spy for      

     the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 

viable, too, sucked in with an ordinary  


rush of ordinary breath, plus it had to find a home  

     in interstitial furrows before roots took hold  

and shoots shot up, lingering  


at throat’s door, which it did; then, lured by the 

     yelps of a summer picnic, out it came, purple and cream,  

stippled, smooth, throwing itself at the thickly frilled clouds, 


which it more or less resembled: everyone thought  

     she’d given birth to a trumpet, some kind of end-of- 

the-world scenario, but the bud 


withered in the heat,  

     bundled in a babel of vines, 

and the world didn’t end; it didn’t even change, 

although somehow and for some reason 
     she’d become a human greenhouse  

and the sun no longer stopped at her skin.