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Dos Gardenias Para Ti

ISSUE:  Spring 2010
“Cultivo una rosa blanca… .”
José Martí

The seed’s the show
all the petal seats are arranged for.
Between bulbous heads we angle
for a view, and these suede
white honey scabs between
fingertips used to cash
must have taught our ancients
to arc the hills in alternates,
to fluid the dense gathering.
We pour ourselves
down the concentric drain
to where character and actor
rub together to become one
cold-spark endearing mask
flagrant yet carriable into the meal
of days. Its quotable petals
strewn from lips when life demands
the erudite perdition of a thought
into the vulgate air, greasy, loud,
a mumbled comforter that says
we must return there, to the theater,
next week. Tyranos is on the marquee,
and later Medea will roll off fiery,
fat and free to our chagrin. So it went
as well upon our island stage, marbled too
and torn no less. Pepe on his gardenia
horse, pleading for white roses on his tomb,
plaything of a gun in his spiraling fist,
hoping for a career move when it hit
and landed us in his history. Fed up
with the unwashed balls of war,
hoarse from cantankering the generals
about republics, he figured rightly
we were wrong but pourable.
It was a stage, after all, sunken
and sinking. Bread like cork and stubborn
islands floats in all weathers.
We are the daily bread at market.
There’s always, near the stage,
a noisy market. For you loud Pepe,
dos gardenias. As the song says, you’ll know us
when they wilt. Just pipe down now.
There’s a funeral going on.


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