A champagne flute with an odd lid
or maybe it is a trumpet with a flat
mute that no horn player has ever
put to lips, and should never try.
The blood red shot through white
and chlorophyll betrays its rich
appetite. Hunger that opens into
an eager overturned bell mouth.
Slippery filaments lead to drunken
slide down where the unheard jazz
was smelled, a wooing secretion
that digests slowly, a resting note.
A pair of them silently mouth words
as in a silent film: exaggerated,
gaping, almost animated —
spectacular, peculiar. They are:
The newly married.
The mid-life models of bad behavior.
The two widowers causing
a commotion in the farthest pew
of the congregation
The two crones arguing
over a lamb shank at the butcher’s counter
Their lips are sweet with nectar
as they speak their sticky words
into the mute camera
And we — we are the fly attracted
by their wide mouths,
their narcotic smiles,
their narrow throats inviting us in
to stay awhile.
In the Veins of the Pitchers
The knitting lesson was not a success.
Out from the heart of the sheep,
shorn and spun: the lion's roar,
a brass throat that called for war,
poured excitement and the ferric scent
of blood. In the unleashed sound,
sleep was no longer two sticks
and a skein, brow unstitched.
The student of thread had become a soldier.
What of the bones embossing the hills,
what of the drums in the dirt,
the desperate beat of hearts at the brink
of flight or defeat, the searing of hope
into vein-seams, curling corners of quartz?
only the nepenthe mirabilis know
how shiny the sharpness,
how acidic the soil.
Mary Alexandra Agner and Peg Duthie
Darwin loved you above all other
protein-hungry plants that feed.
Clear mucus beads like glistening
new morning on stalks luring bugs
into intoxicating enzymes, sticky
and willing to curl themselves
around victims. An array of globes
stems of light, a constellation of glue
that closes around a prey’s kicking.
The hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger, important aspects of parenting and attachment behaviors, thirst, fatigue, sleep, and circadian rhythms.
Something smooth pressing against the hypothalamus
Invades you in the dream,
Seduces your sleeping spirit.
You are swallowed by the forest.
Now you want everything, body and soul.
Your lips move and your arms reach, but
Your desire is too deep for satisfaction,
Too complete. Nothing the world has to offer,
Not his hard body or the soft sucking of the baby
Will satisfy you, though you take these in.
Nor will the pinpricks on the black sky.
You will waken astounded
By the transparent blue of the morning,
But still thirsty.