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Lisa Zaran

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Subtraction Flower

You could die for it--
love,
or refuse it altogether
and know nothing
except the urgency
of youth. Men

have been
solitary
for ages
carrying the
stoniest of hearts
in their broad chests
while we women

begin too early
brush the brown leaves
from our shoulders, go
from bloom to fade
as soon as
we see the sunrise

We let our eyes go first
Then there is the limp lolling
of our hearts from side to side
the tongue we cut away
the blind kiss on the backlash of night
the giving giving giving of skin

As women
we blindly wish
past the climax of passion
as we vanish into a world of men
whose ribcages we were scraped from
Perhaps we are born of seeds
our essence crawling up the stem
to feed the bees.

Perhaps
every flower you see
is a woman
and when
she's in bloom
and when she is blooming
red
and when her leaves are wingbeats
of green in the autumn wind
beating wings of green, yes
even as the wind tries to humiliate her
it fails because
she's in love
and only she would die for it

Copyright © Lisa Zaran, 2006

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