—Misheard health report on NPR
The quiet ones, the flowers the neighbors said
kept to themselves,
Iris getagunandkillus, shoots
and rhizomes reaching beneath the fence.
The shifty ones,
Mickey Blue Iris, the tubers
that pretend to be dormant then spread late at night into
the garden of evil and no good.
They know hell, their blue flames
fooling van Gogh, the knife he stuck into soil before he sliced
the bulbs in three, nights
he spent painting in a mad heat.
They swell before the cut and divide of autumn.
An entire field of tulips,
flattened. Daylilies found
like lean bodies across the path. The wild blue iris claims
responsibility, weaves through
the gladioli, into the hothouse
where the corpse flower blooms for a single day, its scent
of death calling to the flies.