Why Things Burn - Poem by Daphne Gottlieb
My fire-eating career came to an end
when I could no longer tell
when to spit and when
Last night in Amsterdam,
1,000 tulips burned to death.
I have an alibi. When I walked by
your garden, your hand
grenades were in bloom.
You caught me playing
loves me, loves me
not, metal pins between my teeth.
I forget the difference
ignition and cognition. I am a girl
vices and you have a filthy never
mind. If you say no, twice,
it's a four-letter word.
You are so dirty, people have planted
flowers on you: heliotropes. sun-
flowers. You'll take
anything. Loves me,
loves me not.
I want to bend you over
and whisper: 'potting soil, ' 'fresh
cut.' When you made
the urgent fists of peonies
a proposition, I stole a pair of botanists'
hands. Green. Confident. All thumbs.
I look sharp in garden
shears and it rained spring
all night.1,000 tulips
burned to death
We didn't hear the sirens.
All night, you held my alibis
so softly, like taboos
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Daphne Gottlieb's Other Poems
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye
I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You