Sunday, April 11, 2010

Poem o' the Day

image courtesy of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida

Compiling old songs and poems to see what's accumulated since I started this whole vagabond herbalist shindig... this one's from last September in Baton Rouge.


Pin oaks and tea roses and low-winging sunlight
So fierce
It enters as it coats
And I
Stand beneath the satsuma tree,
Fruit so ripe it collapses
In paroxysms of juice and yielding flesh,
Palate and bone and tongue
Vising and clamping fallen, lifted sweetness while
Thumbnails of forgotten skin
Dry swaying on their stems.

The sky holds me pinned,
Warm light silhouetting citrus leaves and leavings and
I am reminded of that orchard day
When you smiled and I came to you
Through appleweighted branches,
Parting our red sea curtain
Like divinity and death,
Like some raised-armed priestess calling down the mists.
Smile trained on you like sunlight,
I was drunk on the moment
Of bees and rot and beauty
And you
May have missed it entirely
But I don’t care;
It is still my favorite of all the memories I hold of you
And now I’m picking tea roses,
Viciously seizing petals and
Stripping stamens bare,
Their neighbors’ blossoms raining with each tug.
Mosquito needletips lance my flesh;
I am
Sweet as satsumas to their tastes,
My skin as thin and frail.

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