Morgan Michaels


Cosmos - Poem by Morgan Michaels

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 drifting at surface
caught in the spidery grip of the meniscus.

Like gondolas drifting on a 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 their Grand Canal, their bowl,
like galleons drowned in a nautical war.

Then they were ready to sow in the dark earth
an eighth, a quarter inch down- whatever-
and brush with dirt -(never good at directions,
I really only worry about the weather) -

Then out onto 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 'adieux 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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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Poem Edited: Wednesday, June 3, 2015


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