By August the anemone
or wind-flower has gone by,
leaving its foliage creased
like the look you gave the day
we subdivided each other
in honor of the common good.
How spring-like that gesture seemed,
adorned with stamens and pistils
and scalloped with feathery sepals.
When Venus wept for Adonis
her tears seeded anemones
in the seams and folds of his corpse.
Year by year that corpse decayed
more deeply, and the shy white flower
prospered in cloudy thickets,
disproving the assertion
of the ancient Persians that wind
flower, the fragile anemone,
harbors a deadly fever.
I know you still believe this,
those ugly creases your attempt
to express a blossoming
rich enough to distract me
with fragrance too faint to detect.
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