i lived for years
in the doe's ear as she listened
for all the green words
usually saved only for gods.
wrote them on the roof of my mouth
where no one could take them from me.
took tweezers from the medicine cabinet
& learned how to place each petal.
spoke to them softer
than anyone had to me.
i believe we must try
to not just duplicate our fingers
but to find their tender doubles.
how, in a repeating mirror,
there is transformation
from image to image to image.
i want to become a tulip
on the other side of my face. i want to
hold up my hands in surrender
like any good lilac knows how.
all my joints where
a neck could grow. i once
lived in a world of mirages.
no real flowers. not even
a lawn. i drank empty water
from a man's pocket. the planter.
with his dry seeds & dust bowl mouth.
there, i vowed to be someone
who whose shoes petal off. who asks
where the dandelions want
to have their beards scattered.
we have little choice whether or not
our tongues scatter but we do
have a choice of how the new blossoms
will learn to speak. i keep jars
of the oldest sun & bowls of moon water.
crouch in a fox's throat
knitting every single leaf & cheek bone.
not even the angles know
this skill. the patience it takes
to discover every fold.
waterfalls of garments. your stockings
cut to pieces. i make your face
in carnations. layers of
your lips. purple as a knee-bruise.
using a magnifying glass
i see every single thread.