We are the flowers we bring
to one another: two bouquets
of changing colours.
I count seven flowers,
flowering in layers.
The first is a flower of the colour of earth,
in which the other flowers flower.
The second is all the colours of bone and
cornstraw, chlorophyll and blood.
The third is flame. The fourth
is turqoise, ochre, jade.
The fifth shifts like the mountain sky
or the sea from rose to indigo. The sixth
is the colourless colour of water and air.
And there is one more, rainbow-coloured like the deer.
Their common names are smell, taste,
sight, touch, sound, thought.
That is the end of the list. The last,
whose common name is silent, is
the one sense these lead from and toward.
These are the flowers of the body:
the nose at the base of the body;
the lips and tongue at the root of the body;
the eye looking out from the palm of the body;
the drum of the blood, strummed by the hand
that roosts like a bird in the heart of the body;
the ear in the pit of the throat; which is
the midpoint of the skin; the brain
in its leaking chalice of bone; the moon.
In the first fist of the face, the flowers
reappear: nose, lips, eyes, ears.
The blossoms open, close, reopen,
reading and writing the light
on tattered scraps of air.
Behind the mind's back,
deep in the cloak of the body,
the blind roots listen through their pores,
squeezed in the face's other hand.
Ankles, elbows, shoulders, hips
and fingertips are the flowers sprouting
again in the slender bodies of arms and legs,
and again in the blinded faces for feet and hands.
The voices of the flowers of the body are
the voices of the stars, the sea,
the sea air, deep-sea ores,
the sounds below the throat,
for which there are no letters.
Eyes, hands, tongues can become
the flowers again and again but cannot
run to pick and dry them. In their voices
we are spoken. They are silent
in the tongues in which we try to write them down.
We are the trees we plant
in the one earth of one another,
that they flowers there
together: flowers we bring on the living
branch to one another,
in the darkness where there are
no other faces, shapes or colours,
no bouquets, no other
and in spite of that,
and in spite of that,
no faces, voices, colours,
no song singing itself
in the fingertips,
no tongues, no teeth,
no taut lips softening,
and closing, no
of light and fire and
and no flowers
and no hands.