Monday, July 11, 2011


Sheet after sheet after sheet
flies from my hand.
The newspaper, a scattered flock.

The psalm of your life
lands in a rosebush
caught between thorns
near a vortex of petals,
the bloom of white noise
blending all my fears, phantom voices.

If the sun could extract
your shadow from this broadsheet,
the house wall would host
a man who stands
tall and calm, a pen between his teeth
bent on writing a list, a sonnet
saying how much he loves me
while drawn to this frenzied whorling
of roses that overwhelm the view.

The wind has sent you here
in the clutch of our garden
to be read and to remember
Rappaccini's daughter
did not kill you with her poisoned
mind. It was the Turkish cigarettes.
You never shied away from me,
only birds and insects
who sensed my aura
was stronger than lightning
or the desert sun.
The speaker refers to herself as Rappaccini's daughter in this poem, a woman in Nathaniel Hawthorne's famous short story, of the same title, who grew up in a garden of poisonous plants. She had become immune to their venom but harmed anyone else who came into contact with "her breath". Here, the speaker slants the allusion with "her mind" referring to her own mental

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