Our Vegetable Love
We are surprised by manure, my bride in a hot-pink gown
and gray Chuck Taylors, hers in silk shirt and bow tie,
the rose-bushes in saturated bloom, all bathed
in the stench of a cow-barn. But the living are always burning
something, no less the gathered animals in our brilliant clothes
than the plants in theirs. We are slow pungent chemical flames.
Desperate in a Maui thrift-shop once, I bought
a Dutch romance, De Branding der liefde, its pages
musty with damp, its heroine straight and narrow.
Still, the series title hooked me: Bouquet Reeks.
It’s not the worst augury, shit transformed
to gorgeous softness, not the worst smell either,
the smell of springs back home, snowmelt and basketball
and knowing something real
is poised to zap the fields of mud and stubble.
I had to get out, of course, and every time we go
up home for a school-friend’s wedding reminds me why—
those dudes hitting on us, “Do you like, uh,
movies?” then warily, “You’re both girls, right?”
Today, as our hot breath mingles, we are like
this garden, a valley of wild unlikelihood
among the vertiginous Alps of entropy,
a snow-drifted bus shelter in the blizzard
that blows us all away.
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