Issue 214, Fall 2015
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
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.