star lilies

soil still between your fingers, you lead me through the garden. it is early
morning. crisp air and the fragrance of your favorite blooms stir my
senses. we speak in metaphor, seduced by words left to interpretation.
you cut me star lilies and freesia. you want your magic to linger.

i invite you in. find vases. watch the sun play on your hands, now clean,
as you lovingly arrange garden gifts. a bud opens as if delighted to be in
this small upstairs apartment.

you know the face of my passion, trace the fine lines of my longing with fingers
experienced in coaxing flowers to bloom.

content to linger in transitory moments, we play under the arc of laden boughs,
pretend there is permanence in the mere curve of letters, cut flowers, a kiss.

beyond the well-tended beds of your garden, winding paths lead to
the question you turn from. we lose our way. i return home knowing
you will not follow.

upstairs, the star lilies. their fragrant flesh becoming translucent.
soon petals will fall, one by one.

• • • •

Published in New Millennium Writings, Winter 2000-01
Photo by james garland on Unsplash