Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Floras por Los Muertos

Marigold petals, bitter stain,

my memory- calloused fingers,

savagely dead-heading,

the withered blooms.

Pinch and pull and pinch and pull.

The heads thrown below- in disapproving silence.

Acid yellow smell keeps even the bugs away.

Marigolds in

white- milk- glass shaped, like an inkwell.

Stolen from an Arkansas grave-yard.

Her things.....

the grave robbers' daughter.

So now I pick the bones, scraps of wing,

and the bricks and lace of old buildings.

Take my stones and feathers and sand,

and grow flowers for the day of the dead.

Bathe my hair with cammomile and calendula,

the same for my tawny skin.

Rinse myself in the petals' hot water

Sun running into my ears, from the kettle.

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