Ives Phillips

I let the bud poke my palette,
Bitter up my tongue,
Because I’d rather that than
Grin a grin you don’t deserve.

I reserve my honey and blush
Only for those that were there
To tie a balloon to my wrist
And feed the light in my eyes.

I blew a dandelion back then
Wishing us all well, only to
Watch as the fluff brush on your back.
How long did the daisy I gave you
Bloom before you let it die?

Now, there are only overturned glasses,
Broken mirrors, dirt patches.
Only the thistle survived.
Only the goddamn thistle survived.

Ives Phillips is a born-and-raised Milwaukeean currently residing in Arkansas, constantly duking it out with mosquitoes and spiders. Their short fictional works under their other name have won four writing awards, and they have published a short poetry collection, Motel 8. More of their work and news can be found at