To a Ring I Lost Planting Bulbs
You give me the slip between garlic and lilies,
as if this is what comes of my unprotected
loves, of my hands in the sweet earth,
their willful miscegenation of the border bed
where you’re tucked in deep with tulips, too,
like just one more of their heart-freaks:
a fluke diamondine flake, a thin vein gone gold.
Being mine, you’ll grow up a girdled tree, girt
with a ringed-around root, nothing like
the fruitful vine of good wives—one of which
I’ll never be so, my not-love-knot, you may
as well come up instead like a kiss:
the one wind gives to rouse the Japanese maple,
October’s aerialist, its bright aureole
in the last late sun a red mouth, opening.
Source: Poetry (February 2009).