From What the Welsh and Chinese Have In Common


On long stalks they make a masculine bouquet,
head-heavy bunch nodding over my shoulder,
disinterested planets, older versions of quiet
camp fires where men circled the round coals,
where thorny silence was a way to speak.

Once at home, they are stone mothers
covered in green scale of lichen, the weight
carried in the womb, firm seasonal bud,
private and pollenless, that blessing on all
lips come round to confirm the feeling we reach

when we hold the green world in one fist,
one perfect globe unstemmed. Each thick
fleshed rose, each tight petalled breast,
a thing no one can know without the trick
of slow steaming, of softening the spikes.

So we meet in hunger, ripe to taste
the other in this meal as we shred
the leaves free, work toward the delicate
secretive hair, peel it apart,
devour the old cliche, the tender heart.

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