(m) those that have just broken the flower vase

15 July 2015

I

For some, the relation between the body
and external objects is unclear, even
when buds are underfoot.

For others, it’s the symbolism of the vase
they fail to grasp.

For both kinds, the gap in understanding is
an effective tactic
to avoid censure.

For some, the vase marks the point
where the room ends
and nature begins.

For others, the petals imply
a garden.

For all, a change of scene
has dramatic value.

For some, the flowers use the vase
to express themselves.

For others, the scatter of porcelain
describes a constellation.

For other still, it’s not the fear of
disapproval but of thorns
that stops them chewing the stems.

For some, the water links the past
to the present.

For others, it’s a symptom of debts unpaid.

For none does any of this
signify your second
thoughts.

II

Do your ideas
correspond to the things around you? Picture
her lying here, for instance, writing

‘one is the start of the pattern
two is just where it reveals itself’.

Shoulder clefts and an ill-timed blush.
A season of pauses. Nearby a gentleman
plums in his mouth, thinking ‘not all answers
are excuses’.
Outside
you draw yourself up by the pond, still
in darkness or almost. The burrow discloses
an ambling mound, snuffling over
the threshold, thinking on what should’ve
happened yesterday, thinking ‘if not
why not?’ Only the curtain sees both sides
but––versed in discretion more than framing––
gives little away. Picture the parlour, then, with
she and he and a bearlike presence, where all
it takes is a careless glance
a sudden clutch of hearts, and a vessel
older than empires
meets its demise. The wombat jogs off
and no one is thinking ‘an iris
is also a flower’ or ‘regret is only a prelude’.
Light rain at daybreak. She is writing

‘three is
when it gets interesting’.

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