Ghost Pipes

Each stem bears only one flower

Monotropa = Greek for one turn

.

Over 2,000 Instagram posts to

Monotropa Uniflora—

skeletal, turning their necks down

.

or away

.

from terror

There’s just the going through—the holocaust

survivor says—discovered broken-backed

but alive among corpses—once

a dancer—

.

A night of dreams, the word

elocutions repeated

.

I walk behind you into Smithgall

Woods/ among mountain laurel

cupped blooms flushing

not our skins

but the skin of our skins

.

a voice in the dream

interrogatory: whom

did it change outside

the sphere of influence?

.

It being the woods?

It being how we came here?

It being the risks we took?

.

Not fungus, not reliant on sun, not with color

nor love for it,

not undulant, nor weak

.

interior, reliant

on nearby mushrooms

and trees –

.

Forced to dance for her bread

she shared it with the other rubbed-

away girls—eyes moons of

suggestion

.

It =  all that we’ve used up

housed & bending corpse

heads to the ground

.

each mouths sensation sent

through nerve-like filaments

a radical mutualism

.

To stop was to be shot

on the Death March

Mauthausen to Gunskirchen

35 miles—

.

when

her spine broke—

the girls carried her

.

by November, you were gone

.

What disappears that we didn’t invoke

before?


Amy Pence is a full-time tutor in Atlanta where she’s taught poetry-writing at Emory University and in other workshop settings. Her books include Armor, Amour and [It] Incandescent from Ninebark Press, and the chapbook Your Posthumous Dress: Remnants from the Alexander McQueen Collection released by dancing girl press last winter. Find links to other work at www.amypence.com.