A Beginner's Guide to Companion Planting
Fig. 3. (To be planted in proximity)
by Lily Poppen
fig. 3.1. Ocimum basilicum
Bundled bodies torn up like commas,
fat at the head at the shoulders and now
it is Fall, filled and still fat,
saturated with traumatic black, Tramatikos
pertaining to a wound, stemming from the
Root of tere- to rub to turn to twist
A bundle wrapped in six layers
displaced from where it was rooted,
picked up, peeled back,
streaks down its back
-terə the Proto-Indo-
European took root and spread
through the orphanage courtyard,
bundles of blankets, the taste of Peking
Duck-footed, I clutch a stuffed bear
Happy Birthday how lucky you are,
to have turned twelve today, Happy,
birthday body you are standing,
in the kitchen, tearing basil and trimming
the excess bounty from its slender green body.
Yesterday you pinched at its folds and bit down
bitter. You are so lucky, that you got adopted
Lounging limply in the kitchen sink,
no language to link back to your body
Paragraphs infected with pests, We are
tired of you turning your back on us twisting
our words we nurtured you we raised you we’d
give the clothes off our backs for your body. Blessed
art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit
your womb, but hers did not bud, Holy Basil, Mother
of Ocimum, pray for us sinners, be a salve for the sores
repair runaway sentences, fragmented heritage
the body is not yours it is still a dependent
clause, because "It is no accident, Ma, that the comma
resembles a fetus—that curve of continuation"
I don't know how to grow any more than you knew how to nurture
fig. 3.2. Chamaemelum nobile
Chamaemelum nobile, no need for a suture.
Under your thumb
I dug a hollow
all sorts of promises
I propagate then leave
bitter grounds in your sink
lounging limply with our skin shorn bare
infuse gazes with glass and refuse to share
what we are willing to weather
cycles of seething and
teeming and tithing
repelling things biting
I was bored.
to co-dependent infestation
a drug for our dormancy
sleep or drowsy sex the sedative
We displaced each other in a plot to arrange
how presence can closely keep us estranged
from queries that cut
Are we doing this right?
Beyond the need to survive?
no shared roots as the tie?
Holes in the teacup devoid of their tide,
I miss you new england in bed with your sighs.