The History of Flowers that Eat Meat

Kelly Gray


The Carnivory of Flora has evolved nine times, nine death eats of meat made of frog back and cricket flight. Never knowing my mother, I am born of flower mouth. Dead goats litter thigh side. I am bog blossom pretty, which is to say, not at all. My skin is flypaper sticky, and boys think it’s honey. Buzzkill, window side. I am pitfall, tongue edge. Lip trap flower talk, a smooth succulent of red. Ancient dentata. Plath ate men with her red hair. Fold the corner of paper around legs of intruder, butterwort, sundew, my darling love. I skin you for bone; your salt is my quench as I lay Nepenthe cliffside. My father pours pitchers of sugar water, sprigs of borage; neat. We forget the original drink, the tentacles of grief. I grow terrestrial. Bloodworms cascade down the delicacy of veins.

I was born:





Kelly Gray (she/her/hers) resides on Coast Miwok land amongst the tallest and quietest trees in the world, exactly nine miles and seven fence posts away from the ocean. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Passages North, Atticus Review, The Normal School, Lunch Ticket, and other publications. Kelly’s book of poetry, Instructions for an Animal Body (Moon Tide Press, 2021) and her audio micro-chap My Fingers are Whales and others stories of Cetology (Moonchild Press, 2021) are available at