Monday, December 14, 2009


with death
that has taken
Josefina, I grab
a pair of scissors
at dusk
and attack
the perfumed stems
of white bells
of basil on my porch
that, in the pregnant days
of August, attract stingers
and legions of tiny
honey bees. In the engulfing
darkness, I cut
the stems and make
a bouquet for you,
dear friend,
who died much too soon when
so many other things
take too long to die.
Let the bees go
and feed elsewhere—
not on my porch, where I mourn
you with rage.
Who needs bees,
I fume as I cut
the sweet basil flowers
to adorn my grief.

Published in Cimarron Review, 2007