Into a cereal bowl last night, I spilled
an entire packet of seeds-Cosmos bipinnatus;
the bowl was half-filled with water-
the needed soak step before planting.
The seed hissed smoothly into the bath:
sad parentheses that had lost their mates,
stiffly drifted at surface
caught in the spidery grip of the meniscus.
Like gondolas drifting on the Grand Canal
viewed high overhead from a helicopter
they looked, or like eye-lashes of a sea urchin
if sea urchins had eyes, which they don't.
Promptly the hulls began to drink-
Even the soberest shell becomes a sponge
in a bowl of agua, overnight;
and drank and drank and never quit;
Till in the morning, dead drunk,
they could all be found milling stilly at bottom
of the Grand Canal, their bowl,
like galleons drowned in an elemental war.
Then they were ready to sow in the dark earth
an eighth, a quarter inch down- whatever-
and brush with dirt -(not good at directions,
I really only worry about the weather) -
Then out to the porch for the sun to warm-
for the rain to pick up where the tap-water left off,
to await their transformation, their resurection,
it's coming, you can bet.
Cosmos bipinnatus- now only imaginary,
'hello to a future ex', you might say,
or 'farewell to a future flower'.
Which? Both? Neither?
Now only imaginary,
till the day when off they'll be flying,
for in Latin, doesn't bi mean two?
and pinna- doesn't pinna mean wing?
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