Vegetable fuchsia but faded, gilt
gone bad from its season in Hell. Plucked up
with dirt on its cheek, petrified
as a rose shut in a box and dull as a brain
left too long in one place.
Sedate glamour on the counter, unhinged
from my skin: golden chime, faintly Egyptian.
Truth is, I’ve been walking, figuring the ladder
of how each year fastened together.
The boy slept with in a single bed, a single
embrace, was one:
sexless, lust-filled, lonely as the taproot
on the table, strange as the earring
found in a thrift store, gold plate already flaking,
atoms of it anointing the straw chair
and spider plant, its babies beginning to crawl.
I went crazy, sought out the lunatics,
drove to the bar and pried open the door,
the men inside gesturing Come in,
wanting a woman. Passed the pit bull
tied to the porch of my neighbor who’s faking
paralysis for insurance, photographers creeping
in the weeds to catch him walking.
His gram smoked her pipe and swung
on a swing where his dog now barks,
ruthlessly. She grew me beets and other gifts,
then the world ordered Weep, and I wept.