black-eyed susans / other plants

your vision blurred

with weeds (buried

in your computer) burning –


you invented new colors,

crying to branches stretched out to you

(the drugs you said you wouldn’t do)


and spelled out (smoke

signals unyielding) they’re of more substance than



it was like you’d pulled every black-eyed

susan planted last spring,

like you’d stolen the color yellow.


i wish i could say

i’d have survived without her

if you’d plucked

the petals sober

and dug into your computer later,

but i don’t know that i can:


lying in bed,

all i could wonder

was whether your hands

were warm or cold

to the touch,

and if they turn rough like mine in the winter

or stay smooth like someone else’s.


(your hands stay smooth like someone else’s)


despite their cupping smoke

to blow in my face.

it seeps into my hair

and the smell

never leaves

me: still yellow.


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