Before I am lost
hell must open like a red rose
for the dead to pass.
You ask me what The horns
my flowers said — were
then they were flowers blooming behind him, dark flowers,
disobedient — I gave mud
them messages — on the lip of
Past is past, and if one I think I grow tensions
remembers what one meant like flowers
to do and never did, is in a wood where
not to have thought to do nobody goes
enough? Like that gather-
ing of one of each I Each wound is perfect
planned, to gather one encloses itself in a tiny
of each kind of clover, imperceptible blossom,
daisy, paintbrush that making pain.
grew in that field
the cabin stood in and Pain is flower like that one,
study them one afternoon like this one,
before they wilted. Past like that one,
is past. I salute like this one.
that various field.
More than a woman’s name. Her traditional shape. Rapidly
spread and rubbed with a wedge. Straight drunk with a crooked
lick. A brief suck on time. Diminutive. Promptly popular still
on the border. As one version of stamina went. A great show of
suffering in order to arouse. There were sweet ones. Frozen
ones and fruity ones. Her little resemblance to the original.
Shake her one key part. Control her ice. Shake her poor stem.
Her rim rubbed. Slice juice and pour control out with dusty salt.
Or to taste if desired.
Poems beginning at the top counterclockwise are by H.D., Emily Dickinson, James Schuyler, Harryette Mullen, Robert Creeley, and Nathaniel Mackey. Compiled by Jeanne Heuving.