You be the garden I leave my boots in when I walk barefoot
after drought. Do to me what no one has done. What
can I do but undo you by asking for more
than was asked before? Make the lake a cloud. The field needs rain
again. Again? Again. One butterfly is torture,
flower-faced, a teaser. The wolf cannot discern the dead
lavender from the living: neither is lavender. Red is always hunger; yellow, possession,
but blue is nothing if not contrast. Only kill
what you can eat. How do you know what’s poison? One skipper’s tongue
is the length of another’s wingspan. Monarchs taste milky like the ditch they
feed in. Glutton, never eat enough to kill, only sicken.
The wolf regards all movement as red and beyond red, heat.
“garden, and gun” from Do Not Rise, by Beth Bachmann, © 2015. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.