V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





This cold summer day preserves the blooms 
of catalpas like a florist box, a room, a glass door 
cool air inside and calla lilies.  Clouds of blossoms, 
like white grape clumps are suspended still in dim air. 

Their stillness breeds complacence, nothing to do 
but wait, wait for a blossom to fall, a breeze to blow 
and jostle this collection of white mouths and fringe, 
these open throats mapped in sprays of blood on white 

and lemon smudge, tunnels of cold perfume. 
At least in heat, the blossoms seek their withering, 
grow limp in sunlight, drop from their base, 
drifting to the lawn like failed parachutes. 

These flowers are stiff with cool wax, unnaturally stable, 
hope of the hopeless, balm of the deceived.  They hang there 
now, in the cold, hinting at the afterlife with beauty, 
treacherous as nettles, numbing, anesthesia sweet.

© by Joel Long


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