Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 101 1998.
(To Mary A. Daughter of Gabriel W. & Rosa A. 1873 February 23 1880, 7 years. 6 Months 20 days.)
To Breathe Together
Steal through morning's haze
Palms open over dew and flora
As petals in your hands bloom sepal
On crown of Dandelion, Marigold, Rose,
Tease a strand of your hair into the
Spiraled cornute, the axis of some
Mythical day spent in this
Fall of Cerise and brass and scarlet,
Let the early hyacinth fill
The smalls of your face
And the thick haired peony
With thick lips and tongues
Wink into empty space.
And the procession meets you, nonpareil,
Holds you up in festival lights as
An aurora of smiles trails a caravan
Of daylilies in your eyes then departs to
Its narrow strip of matted soil.
Let me plant enough to fill this field
Enough to blow these cattails of pixie moss
Over open ground. Enough for a journey ends
On dry stem and dream. Within this fibrous
Root of your heart lead me captive for a time,
Perennial at your season's turn, turn
Now, together, breathe.