As seen in Permafrost
Thistle Seed and Bloom
The bulls are gone from the meadow now.
I came to the poppy field to leave with both hands
full. Beyond, our beach is full of phantoms.
I was certain I would find you here, feasting
on the poppies, placing one in your lapel.
Bull bones spread beneath the dirt like roots.
Each time a bull dies, its bones sink into the earth,
ribs and vertebrae like shovel spades digging down.
I hope your cartilage is gone by now, that your bones
knock and rattle. The skull
smiles most when the skin is gone.
Our gray beach needs this color; the blush of cold,
of seeds that must rest and churn before they flourish.
I am that way too. My heart is a thistle;
it is more seed than fruit or flower.
Pry off the watch fused
to the underside of my wrist—
the reddening, spilling.
A pair of horns erupts from the ground, but
doesn’t belong to you. I pull out my compass.
Not for navigation— I have my maps. But for
the soothing way the needle rocks
and yet is still in a sea of negative space,
white noise. The reflections of poppies in the glass.
The dashes, lines, constellations never stop moving.