Two Poems

by Kate Garrett

alphabet of flowers

unearth a story in this garden – a sundown walk 
along the overgrown path, where centipedes hide 

scribbling twenty times the lines we could manage 
with two sad hands. here is foxglove to stop hearts

and twist guts; a letter addressed to lords-and-ladies 
who took your breath straight from your lungs, sealed 

your throat. what tale have you wandered into, while 
bats sleep and dream of midnight moments to come? 

hogweed leers far above your head, preparing blisters 
for your skin, amazed you’ve come exploring willingly 

beside it. you want the very worst but still your ribcage 
holds a shivering sparrow, watched by eyeless petalled 

faces, gripped by words they drip into your skull by 
some chlorophyll telepathy: ours. you. hunger. decay. 

teeth. love. soul. soil. the path narrows, the garden 
widens. you walk on feet. on knees. you crawl.

happy, happy they in hell

each one of you surfaces with a job to do – find a spot 
where the airwaves become a doorway, dance out 
into side streets and beer gardens like you belong 

here. you slide through as cigarette smoke, fumes 

from broken bourbon bottles. you stand up into a 
new body wearing denim, flannel, leather. earth 
is hell put on backwards; you turn to the sea, search 

for fires and lightning. there are no gasps or squeaks 
at a glimpse of beaks and rippling arms beneath 
holographic glamours. not one human sees the beast 

sent to test them. they’re eager to follow you home.

Kate Garrett is a writer and mum of five with a significant folklore, history, and horror obsession. She is the Magical Editor of Mookychick magazine, and her own writing is widely published. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. Born and raised in rural southern Ohio, Kate moved to the UK in 1999, where she still lives, currently in an off-duty Welsh-border vicarage.