The Coronary Garden, section 6

Despair needles you with its whisper,
it is agnostic, it believes in irony,
like a fly’s buzz it is perceptions, a busy

blood clot that says alive, alive.

I’m not the stopped motion, the straight line out.
Your garlands are "convivial, festival, sacrificial,
nuptual, honorary, funebrial."

That spring, when we strolled in the rain,

you bent to the stone wall’s alyssum—
bloom, stem, and root, you tore a handful free.
Against your mouth the petals

were a mass of stars winking out.

Section 6 of "The Coronary Garden" is from The Coronary Garden by Ann Townsend, published by Sarabande Books, Inc. ©2005 by Ann Townsend. Reprinted by permission of Sarabande Books and the author.