Blue, but you are Rose, too, and buttermilk, but with blood dots showing through. A little salty your white nape boy-wide. Glinting hairs shoot back of your ears' Rose that tongues like to feel the maze of, slip into the funnel, tell a thunder-whisper to. When I kiss, your eyes' straight lashes down crisp go like doll's blond straws. Glazed iris Roses, your lids unclose to Blue-ringed targets, their dark sheen-spokes almost green. I sink in Blue- black Rose-heart holes until you blink. Pink lips, the serrate folds taste smooth, and Rosehip- round, the center bud I suck. I milknip your two Blue-skeined blown Rose beauties, too, to sniff their berries' blood, up stiff pink tips. You're white in patches, only mostly Rose, buckskin and saltly, speckled like a sky. I love your spots, your white neck, Rose, your hair's wild straw splash, silk spools for your ears. But where white spouts out, spills on your brow to clear eyepools, wheel shafts of light, Rose, you are Blue.
May Swenson - 1913-1989
Little Lion Face
Little lion face I stopped to pick among the mass of thick succulent blooms, the twice streaked flanges of your silk sunwheel relaxed in wide dilation, I brought inside, placed in a vase. Milk of your shaggy stem sticky on my fingers, and your barbs hooked to my hand, sudden stings from them were sweet. Now I'm bold to touch your swollen neck, put careful lips to slick petals, snuff up gold pollen in your navel cup. Still fresh before night I leave you, dawn's appetite to renew our glide and suck. An hour ahead of sun I come to find you. You're twisted shut as a burr, neck drooped unconscious, an inert, limp bundle, a furled cocoon, your sun-streaked aureole eclipsed and dun. Strange feral flower asleep with flame-ruff wilted, all magic halted, a drink I pour, steep in the glass for your undulant stem to suck. Oh, lift your young neck, open and expand to your lover, hot light. Gold corona, widen to sky. I hold you lion in my eye sunup until night.