Bud-pierce, sun-talon, blood-briar—spring
insists on renaming itself.
Are you prepared for the day he won’t know your name?
And I might have answered,
Lord of milk and suck, Lord of straddle-these-thighs, what is
compared to the ten thousand unspoken, solemn or spangled,
names of God? And I might have answered,
I’ve forgotten how to prepare, I’ve forgotten how to pray . . .
but I am learning now
to retrieve stray wordlings that shake loose from his sentences—
chalice and shovel, hold me, buried root—
and to say them as a rosary is said, or a mantra.
And perhaps I can also pray
with the cutting of rosemary I scissored from a clay pot
on a sill of the sun.
Smell this, I say—
stroking his shoulders and his neck with an arabesque
of its green fragrance.
Smell this . . . Who cares what we call it?