Who will gather these ink-stained lilies?
When I go      the land won’t fill with us
Land      that we have inherited
whose earth I have returned to touch
if only to imagine you

reappearing from your homeless place
to dispossess me
of my mute tactility.

Thorns cut into my thighs      and white snakes
hide beneath sandy mushroom caps.

The lilies here are eager decided and free.
I gather them      lacerating their wild roots.
Easily they give way      my knife
bleeding with chlorophyll
slick against the sun.

Deep in the field      grasses reach up
on their way
to a fiercer comprehension.

The wind stands still.
Sap wells from the cuts I have made.

I gather them      loving them
indifferently so that their dying does not hurt me.
They would scream if they spoke. Only now
they prefer to flaunt their rigid vertebrae      and punish me
with this long and awful silence.