Post Road Magazine #9

Botany Notes by Amy Beeder

Improbable love-song scribbled on the lines of a narrow spiral:
buds acute, bud blood red, buds silky all over, buds
beside sketches & smears of his blood which is honey to chiggers

& ticks, his skin always livid, nicked & bitten: the word the blood
all this because he would rather work in the forest than any
coffee-reeking office; this ink that anchors knowledge on a rain

-warped page: love, ink, memory of each brown, gray, green piece of the
universe, the swath of Carolina woods, bug-abundant even
in spring; brambled, burrowed, hazy with chill sunlight & spiderweb,

semis roaring by in a shudder of trunks, all this pinned
to the eye of singing noon; the stooping grass, the orchard run
to dismal & the cellar filled with weeds, the hunk of rusted

car; but this song is for the buds: solitary, clothed in scales
drooping, blue-black, yellow; buds downy, dark with whitish
pubescence; close-up—no, closer. Buds sweet. Heavy-headed.

Buds that never winter shut. Buds then flowers then dry petals
scattered in the breath of heat; all that opened like secrets
to his ink, humble; buds with slippery, nearly black inner bark. •

Amy Beeder teaches poetry at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Recent work can be found, or is forthcoming, in Poetry, Witness, American Letters & Commentary, and Prairie Schooner.

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