I split a bulb in my garden or the bulb divides or I buried my
all in earth. Thief beyond coin. Only I am driven here.
daughter or lover
The garden is a blaze, all red, all waving, heads bobbing in
manic agreement. The cup of the blossom, black at the center.
This batch is red, the last, red. The next. Today yellow is
out of stock but nothing ever again is out of season, not papery
bulbs listing quiet in the bellies of ships, not red, not
oranges. Yesterday bacon splattered angrily in Mother's pan,
but today all is flowers—red in the garden, green in the hand.
Mother's husband sails the ship out of port, blue sky, blue
harbor, hushed bulbs. It works best concealed, ships moving out
at twilight or entering in the dark, the bulb not yet planted,
the day before the wedding, stitching the bodice, picking,
arranging the flowers. I have sold my bed for you love, sold my
shape and promise. I ache, the skirt sliding down my hips,
soldier, once lover
My life after the war emptied.
My hollow my face abraded.
My lost love
work I since forgot.
Then I was hungry or sick or taking things away from themselves.
Home is flowers and debt.
Home is a girl I no longer afford.
mother or wife
I myself never purchased a single bulb. Even in the early rush
we wanted. I would catch myself looking past the fragile land,
watching water as if I was water. Though planted here.
Watching husbands off—one to war where bullets burst. Dying
slow, they said, body turning to mulch and I with daughters and
nothing to hoard.
Married again having kept my figure through my troubles. My
second leaves quiet at night, slips to his ship, owned by the
company, then the sea. Only leased to me.