Flowers

July 12, 2020

Some men never think of it.
You did. You’d come along
And say you’d nearly brought me flowers
But something had gone wrong.

The shop was closed. Or you had doubts —
The sort that minds like ours
Dream up incessantly. You thought
I might not want your flowers.

It made me smile and hug you then.
Now I can only smile.
But, look, the flowers you nearly brought
Have lasted all this while.

Wendy Cope

Either everything is sexual, or nothing is. Take this flock of poppies

 

smoke-green stems brandishing buds the size of green plums, swathed

            in a testicular fur. Even those costumed in the burlesque of red crepe

                         petals have cocks under their skirts, powdered with indigo-black pollen,

 

staining everything they touch. Either the whole world is New Orleans

            at 3 a.m. and a saxophone like a drill bit or it’s all clinical sunlight and sad

                         elementary school architecture, circa 1962, no broom closets opening into escape

 

hatches, no cowpokes with globs of sap skewered on hickory sticks. Either

            it’s all New York in 1977, the Pan Am building lit up like a honey hive and erecting

                         itself out of the fog, and one of us is a junkie and one of us is naked under a gold

 

skirt safety pinned at the waist and the material melts in the rain, either Kinky

            is playing the Lone Star and Earth is the women’s john at the tail end of the bar

                         and the stall doors have been blow-torched at the hinges and dragged away

 

by horses, either cunnilingus is an ocean salting every alleyway and lifting

            every veil or the French teacher did not masturbate beneath the desk as he taught

                         the subjunctive, and lightning did not cleave the cherry tree and pleasure

 

its timbers. Either straitjacket, or shock treatment orgasm igniting the dinner theatre,

            the actors cradling and hair-pulling, kissing each other so deep some might call it

                         brain surgery, the wigs slipping, chintz curtains aflame, codpieces bursting

 

into flower, or what’s left is a book of wet matches, my dear,

            and it’s all been for nothing, for didn’t Jesus say you are either

                         with me or against me, from out of his blossom of bloodshot dust?

 

 Diane Seuss

in the sewers

June 14, 2020

You will notice my friend that in the sewers of this unstable world part of the garbage is made of fallen flowers.

Eiji Yoshikawa
The stone and the sword

I will wade out

December 13, 2018

i will wade out
##############till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
################################################Alive
######################################with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
##################################in the sleeping curves of my body
Shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of sea-girls
###########################################Will i complete the mystery
###########################################of my flesh
I will rise
#######################After a thousand years
lipping
flowers
################And set my teeth in the silver of the moon

ee cummings

Burton Silverman

(for D)
Here, touch here, just beneath the ribs you kissed when you were nearly twenty-three and I was a girl knee-deep in meadow, fescue, timothy, mustard, the wild ginger I had just learned from my grandmother a few weeks before we met. Dancing in that bar, that night, I wanted to tell you how to spot wild ginger, how Carolina, where we both grew, banned spreading cornflower seeds, and I most wanted to tell that you smelled of sweet clover, and sun. In my silence, I named you shining one. Later, while you slept, I whispered secrets into your hair – how black snake root would keep you strong, rue and thistle protect you, how the plant I named as spikenard – lavender – would lead you in my direction, when our time came. In the morning, I left rosemary behind, that you might, just might, remember. Because as false at times as desire may seem, it isn’t. Nor is the humid wish for love, steaming, sweating, our second skins, those made of glass, the ones we fear the most, will shatter.

Mary Carroll-Hackett

sunset

July 21, 2017

In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different.

John Steinbeck
The Winter of Our Discontent