It’s for sale, Miss Hortense, to rise and hear
seventeen years of silence in a cicada’s drone,
a flower sale, fresh daises far from home,
Why, even the earthworms
have come here for the peonies.
How fearful salvation is in the intense glare
of an empty holiness, eh, Miss Hortense?
It is as if you too had been buried in
a kind of flooded earth,
one bee circling a last tulip
in a sky you can’t begin to believe in.
So rise. Pretend to become a lion
on a final lonely hunt,
seeking its scent-markings in the soil—
imagine the mountain phlox, violets,
extravagant wild roses,
all peddled and beheaded,
their fragrance resolved.