White Flower

Not rose or peony or climbing 
jasmine, not the brown, paper-parched
ends of gardenia in the sun. White
flower of narcissus, but not of the boy

who bent only over the lethal mirror of 
himself. Rather, bottled oils of camphor, 
eucalyptus, lavender; menthol, peppermint, 
and wintergreen. Whole generations of us 

let our mothers smear the soles of our feet, 
anoint our temples through fevered nights, quiet 
the hornets inside the frenzied nests of our bellies 
and hearts— we are, after all, children of a volatile 

geography: born or left for dead in humid 
forests, blooms the size of our heads. 

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