On Keeping

Trailing and heart-shaped, leaves
of sweet potato and cassava;   

moringa with its coin-shaped 
fronds. Chayote drooping like bulbs

under a trellis of telephone-coil vines.
Listen, you're not the only one to have moved 

away, nor are you the only one to have left
children behind. Sand-burrs and beggars'

ticks, horehound and clover. There are fields
you walk through, damp from the last hard

rain: and still, there they are, the hem
hitch-hikers. You pick them off one by one,

knowing you won't get everything. Of course
it's true in all other ways. Streaked 

alstroemeria, stippled moth orchid; purple 
vanda with roots exposed to the air—

You want to know which flowers last
the longest, not which ones are first

to crumple. You'd pick them before that
happened. If you could, you'd press  

your heart, too, on Lokta or rice paper; or 
in the middle of a book, close to the spine. 

How could you ever forget about those
you keep in the deepest place of all?

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