How to Make a Wildflower Bomb (a sestina)
I try to pull myself together wind the perfect string of pearls
rose-tinted like my sweater like a set of wine-stained teeth
around my neck. As if you’d care. I view you through the window glass.
Outside you stack wood for hours battling wind and ghosts
then rake dead leaves. I only see black.
Can’t settle down to work. Some thing inside me is broken.
I search on my phone: “When something inside is broken”
- Gather wildflower seeds, all different, like pearls
- Enclose them in potting dirt, rich and black
- Inhale the warm smell until it sinks into your teeth
- Imagine daisies and phlox spiralling up like ghosts
I dream the flowers wave at me as I drive enraptured peering through the car glass.
I break from my reverie, sip wine from the glass.
The smile fades. You swear at the rake in your hand that has broken.
We pass each other at the door silent as ghosts.
Things I might say, suggestions wisdom pearls
are not welcome. A bad taste lingers in my mouth my teeth.
Our future together only black.
Never mind. I get busy, throw the seed packets to the roadside black
drive slowly to watch them land through the car glass
I run my tongue slippery over newly brushed teeth.
The packets land in the mud but they were made to be broken
I return, to myself to the house, softened by rain droplets of pearl
I see you standing in the living room a shade of your former self a ghost.
We were alive in each other once before we were ghosts
Again buzzing honeybees look for colour in the black
I reach out to you my pearls
clink as you press me against the mirror glass
you stare into my eyes and I’m afraid. Am I still broken?
I smile to conceal how I feel with shiny white teeth.
Your mouth warm on mine, your lip against my tooth
You are solid, muscle and bone I feel you warm and heavy, nothing like a ghost
The seedpod has broken feelings grow up push-up out of blue soil black
our faces turn toward the sun like orchids through the greenhouse glass
we walk down the road cliffs echo our laughter, peals pearls
rich black soil, dotted with seed pearls that split open and grow wild
my tooth clinks the water glass as I drink it all in
we can be broken we can work: perfection is the ghost.