Monday, November 8, 2010
It Makes a Great Lei
I plan the night garden, down to the last detail
A distraction from a leg cramp, or
The med tech bending, sterile paper rustling,
Cold metal or needles against skin, or the
Techno beat bashing as you lie so still
In the long white tube. You'll get out of here,
You remind yourself. Laboring over the imaginary garden
Is a way to not be here, now. My fear: I know
We won't have time to make the garden; we will never
Be granted that stretch of space to grow
Omixochitl, whose night scent young women
Are advised not to breathe. No such cautions
For old ones. Our gardens are choked
With weeds and frost-struck stems.
The table is a cold slab. I take my mind back
To details. Tuberose is a perennial in this climate
And will take a year. The roots are rhizomes.
I wonder: Can the bay overwinter?
Where will I get the seeds for the black poppies?
You would know, you would know. I dream myself away
To the place where I touch the boneflower
Blooming flesh-pale against the darkness,
In a few hours, coming. This could be
The only night garden we will know.
Only as big as this bed, in this room,
On the night ahead of us. This must be enough.