The come-hither hibiscus aims its pistil
straight at your face, petals outspread
in invitation. You can almost catch
the roses’ heady scent, their variations
from palest pink to scarlet and carnelian,
the blush that blooms along the lover’s throat.
Gladiolus gestures up; lilac and heather
(just for contrast) stand erect and azure.
Even the spout points out at you,
revealing the side on which the lines
conjoin, wedding night mehndi
or the V of a woman’s upper thighs.
And the table-mat, gorgeously embroidered,
looks morning-after rumpled; its white
directs the eye to the cupboard behind.
What vibrant stories might be locked inside?
This poem is after Bouquet de fleurs au napperon brodé by Suzanne Valadon, 1930
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