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"The Killing of a Flower Births a Woman"

May 30, 2006

“The Killing of a Flower Births a Woman”

You remarked on his
apparent perceptiveness.
Both our heads pressed into pillows,

in the morning, or, more likely, the
early afternoon, of a Saturday
in spring.

Without a doubt, your eyes
are sunflowers—the yellow eclipsing
the green, with exposure to light,

(and the narrowing of a
centered darkness)
, you said to me,
looking long in my eyes.

I blanched. Accompanied, surely,
by a small sucking of breath.
You yielded to his ghost.

He called me ‘Sunflower,’ I said.
My mind tearing through months
I spent craning my neck, tracking

his emblazoned sky-trail,
bowing my yellow petaled head at the darkness:
his (omnipresent) absence.

I called him ‘Sun,’ and fancied him,
Apollo. Salvation Eternal, Romance—
A Cloud-spun Cradle of a god.

In early fall, when god fell,
my blossoms dried,
withered, and were cast in the fire.

My spirit: elusive, vaporous,
as smoke rising from the fields,
or metal forged in fires,

sank under lit-orange autumn trees.
And I acknowledged the irony,
the appropriateness, of this flower-metaphor.

I plead release, and was found,
fallen into your bed by spring (a phoenix).
May the flower sink into the ground?

I blinked, against remembrance,
rolled away from you, across sheets,
to face a shadowy wall,

not the light of a window.
My crooked spine, straightened,
and wordless, spoke a lesson to you:

Never again will I descend to the being
of a sunflower,(once I am made woman,
forged in self-love, and too tall for craning.)

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