blackbirdonline journalSpring 2009  Vol. 8  No. 1
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what is it, darling, that draws you to me? it’s probably insipid,

a word i learned in high school from that delicious boy in art class
who thought the trees were insipid and ink was insipid and dissection
was insipid. it was a word that bled a dark red beret onto my head
and sent me to paris where i could play violetta and spread my legs
in a garden of camellias for men like you, my darling, for men like you

who love the floral, who squeeze the petal for its dew, who hold
the gold ovary but will not swallow it, who haunt the margins
in gray suits, nooses round their necks striped and gold clasped,
who want soft, soft love but only on tuesdays in the corner in the dark
on the stream bank where the violets open and close their purple mouths

or their white mouths lined in gold, in the land of white violets behind
the high school where they found that insipid boy dead, a spray
of roses on the ceiling of the car and a pistol in his left hand,
he was a lefty, he was opposed to it all, apple stand and river,
formaldehyde and filament, insipid, i loved the way he spit it

out across the art table as he drew me, darling, beautiful and obscene.
i never understood the term hard on, if anything the cock is just less soft,
and the sunset is not orange it is apricot, and the apricot often tastes
like a potato, what is it that keeps you from calling love
love, a beautiful thing with petals like scalpels and stamens

and anthers and sacs, flowers are male, darling, hold them.  end

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