A bear batting at a beehive, how

clumsy the mind
always was with the heart. Wanting
what it wanted.

-Laura Kaksischke


You wanted to be like Miss Rumphius,
make the world more purple. Of course,
it was easy to see the view from there.
If you doused lavender behind your ears,
or plucked lupine from the soil,
if you smelled more like the earth, maybe
you would be more endearing.

If you put cold spoons on the curves
of your puffy eyes, they would collapse
in those metal shells. No pollen,
no night of crying, would dare swell them.
Sometimes eyes turn colors
you didn’t know eyes could go,
orange in rainy evenings, yellow
from a failing liver, green from tired bruises.

If you roll your eyes, they might get stuck there.

Maybe you are stuck staring at Miss Rumphius
and her flowers. That might be infuriating:
the best she could do for the world was plant seeds
Or maybe you are stuck staring at the sun, a gap
in the clouds, a yolk poked and spreading in the sky.
Maybe you’re stuck staring at a bear, batting at a beehive.
Or maybe you are stuck staring at
someone running.

There were three beds of flowers you thought
you kept alive when you were six.
You fed them with a weightless tin can,
clutched your fingers to your palm, and dipped your
wrist counter-clockwise. When they did not die,
you assumed it was because of the water
you willed there.