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Stephen Gibson

Corpse Flower

The guy across the hall died days before

the renter below complained about flies

every time he was on his patio,

and in about a week there was odor.

Security went in—when someone dies,

Arthur said, and is dead a week, you know;

he added, it stunk worse than that flower

the West Palm nursery would advertise:

Corpse flower—bloomed each decade—and he’d go;

he crisscrossed blue painter’s tape on the door

for show.


Stephen Gibson has published eight poetry collections: Frida Kahlo in Fort Lauderdale (2020 finalist, Able Muse Press book prize, forthcoming), Self-Portrait in a Door-Length Mirror (2017 Miller Williams Prize winner, University of Arkansas Press), The Garden of Earthly Delights Book of Ghazals (Texas Review Press), Rorschach Art Too (2014 Donald Justice Prize, Story Line Press; 2021, Story Line Press Legacy Title, Red Hen Press), Paradise (Miller Williams prize finalist, University of Arkansas Press), Frescoes (Lost Horse Press book prize), Masaccio’s Expulsion (MARGIE/IntuiT House book prize), and Rorschach Art (Red Hen Press).


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