The Scarecrow’s Lover

Alexandria Baisden 

The Scarecrow’s Lover

My lover blossoms from the soil every year
Velvet ivy twists up
and c r a w l s
around my applewood shoulders

When he kisses me,

my yarn mouth blooms with nectar
Mossy palms cradle peony painted cheeks,
and trail

          d
           o
              w
                      n

                     whispering
                                         beneath
                                                             my flannel
I tip my head to the clouds
and sigh,
straw chest filling
with hydrangeas

He sprinkles cornflowers through my hair
(scatters sunlit dew and clover)
Camellia bouquets e x p a n d
inside my pillow-case skull
(fuzzy, sweet, happy thoughts)
Willow tendrils loosen my joints
(spiked with iron, twisted with twine)
And as I drink the geraniums
spangled
          across
                        his
                               collarbone,
he shivers and clings,
s w a y i n g
over the cornfield
We stay this way until the harvest
until the sugar maple leaves

         s
                   w
                               e
                                           e
                                                       p

                                                                          in
Until my lover’s body shrivels into a map of knotted thorns
and razor-sharp vinewood

“Please,” he moans
clawing at my back,
pricking my burlap skin “Hold me.”
I try.
I try, but my wrists are nailed apart.

I nuzzle his cheek,
whisper my love for him in his ear
I promise he will be like the evergreens;
strong and flourishing, forever

I tell him this,
but it always ends the same.

When the farmer tears us apart, I
scream

My voice shrinks back the corn,
scatters the crows from dive-bombing
my lover’s corpse –
dried, dead, rotted wood,
bleeding with strawberries

The farmer is not fazed,
to him, this is just another season 
He throws me into the shed,
locks me away until next year

I weep beside the weed wacker,
shift away from the cultivator’s twinkling jaws,
babble to the spades and shears,
waiting for spring to breathe again

For the morning when the farmer will plant me in the field,
where my lover will sprout at my feet

When that day comes,
he will embrace me all day,
and I will yearn to hold him back

Instead,
I must stand watch
with my arms spread wide
protecting him from the crows,
who long to peck out
his sunflower eyes.

_______________

Alexandria Baisden is a Hufflepuff published in Apex Magazine, HelloGiggles, Hair Trigger 38 and elsewhere. She currently co-writes visual novels at PixelFade Studio with Alisia Faust. The latest, Kaori After Story, is up on Steam. She’s interned for Curbside Splendor Publishing, worked as an Associate Editor at the Publishing Lab and slushed for pg70pit. A fan of puns, coffee and BTS, she spends most of her time writing her fantasy novel and getting distracted by fluffy animals on the Internet. She can be found on Twitter as @FireShye.

Editor’s Notes: scarecrow (Picsart/Chris), cornflowers (Picsart/Mayu), thorny vine (Pixabay)/recolored

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