echium swallows

at the edge of the verbena the echium swallows bees in a lavender bath or olfactory wash for these bitters these fingers edged in yellows drift in thyme crushing sprigs under nails along this promenade these lawns this potted fragrance mellow take it in as an order a numeral a douche for the senses an enema florid this clyster now rare, herbage archaic, sediment of suppository, for fodder rough or coarse or other entryways for fibers in this hall an inflation of sideways facing a maker of daydreams shaker of this here bed or chaise lounge or sofa or basement or cottage, let the soles of these shoes splinter so the heels come in contact with dirt direct as a rod from the ground through tendons, cross the body with roots from the base of the bottom of earthen alignments of dust, take it in, balance of penance, attention to breath, anchor of gaze, extend the senses, the bounds of a body, of its practice, of its potential, disintegration of silvering, of a mirror, or a boundary, between subject // object, language // record, active // passive, life form, be it animal // vegetal // mineral, no tin to this here tin, no metals to distinguish in this bath of the senses, waft of my helpless musk, it has filled columns of the study, sat on pillars in the middle of the city, with the stylites, the ascetics, as a hermit or a dweller in these cosmos for reception, fasting for the intertextual, desire for connection, from a lapse of memory, an abstraction, an association of sediment, squatting atop this city, on its rods, as a spiritual practice, reading grids, or leaves, or grounds, or spreads, of cards, or cheeks, mixed fluids my roots all trade / one another amalgam temptation / in this here lavender linguistics / boots full dirt my present my offering 


Copyright © 2020 by Noah Ross. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 23, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I’d been thinking about the ecosystem of my neighborhood as a constellation of lovers, connected to a past as much as a future, together. I had been writing while on walks around the block, and found the block to be a form I wanted to play with, seeing all the words together, like houses, like gardens, flowers, plotted one by one. I saw it on the page and felt the need to transcribe all of these relations, so they could touch, so they could dance, out of a deep reverence for the world I inhabit, and all that have made it so that I can inhabit this space lovingly.”
Noah Ross