As the undisputed delivery system 
for this pathogen, 
you ought to be attending me, 
not some wedding, indiscreetly 
escorting a woman 
past the nectariferous stamens

of a hundred lilies in their prime, 
and your coupledom’s. 
Ill though I may be (with bronchitis 
or love, probably both), I fight this 
with the double rhythms 
of weeding and wedding rhyme.

In the courtyard, unwanted outgrowths 
are properly yanked. 
I don’t know what is less reminiscent of 
the back transformation of laurel into love 
than outranked, 
antiquated, turgid, infirm oaths!

The climbing rose (“Don Juan”) 
picks up where 
the citrus leaves off—wintry lemon 
giving way to a diabolic crimson 
dunned from the air 
of June, and making all months June.

Primavera’s diktat: Fiammante. We have, 
we are. I’ve tried 
to avoid inflammation by poison ivy, 
its dissembling look, its leaflets of three. 
But as I pluck—triad 
missing a harmonic stave—

I sing contagiously, so as not to cough. 
So twelfth-century of us: 
we erase the t, the i, the m, the e 
to quantify eternity on a Catullian abacus. 
It rains to occult the roving sun when we love.