Caulbearer

~ after Remedios Varo, "Alegoría del invierno (Allegory of Winter)," 1948;
Yucca brevifolia


Pheasant and nuthatch, five-petaled flower, 
       emerald feather suspended in veils--- 
we don't know how long the world can hold
       such specimens of tenderness, how far
the glacial drifts can ferry such tombs,
       immaculate, before they themselves turn
into ghosts--- Everything writhes before the dream
        discards what it calculates for reduction:
and yet the yucca moth delivers its eggs 
        inside the flower, even as leaves sharpen
their bayonet-points. At dusk, we scan the horizon
        for anchors and tents; we lean into the wind
hungry for the brass tinkle of hawk bells 
        and the trance-like drone of hegelong. 
If we split these reeds down their length, 
        how many of us can ride out the coming flood
before sunlight returns or we've softened into moss? 



  

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