As an animal, I am separate from plants
Pulled ivy from the roses till my hands bled.
Picked clumps of fragrant basil, then refused it.
I am playing out a game with plants,
which ones die, which ones to eat.
This makes me master of a particular domain.
I experiment with master feelings.
They come easily.
The roses bloomed quick this year.
I pick them decoratively and then discard.
A skywriter struggles above and I laugh.
They let any man fly planes, any man spell.
Misshapen letters cloud the sun.
The shadows are illegible.
I am alone in this garden, rooted to nothing.
My arms do not tendril against cement.
I cannot pay them enough to do this.
I pay for coolness and for shelter from the sun.
I am not mottled by most accounts.
My lungs and my skin are that of beasts.
I’ve been holding in this smoke for a century.
Come now to understand
the difference between scissors and shears.
Allow nothing to enter but the shapes of letters.
A salve as we recall all tools of manufacture.
The sound of the sound your mouth makes when a thorn sticks electric.
What I thought was vegetable is the cat
in the flowerbed, illiterate, scaling this fence.