Counting What the Cactus Contains
By Pattiann Rogers
Elf owl, cactus wren, fruit flies incubating
In the only womb they’ll ever recognize.
Shadow for the sand rat, spines
And barbary ribs clenched with green wax.
Seven thousand thorns, each a water slide,
A wooden tongue licking the air dry.
Inside, early morning mist captured intact,
The taste of drizzle sucked
And sunsplit. Whistle
Of the red-tailed hawk at midnight, rush
Of the leaf-nosed bat, the soft slip
Of fog easing through sand held in tandem.
Counting, the vertigo of its attitudes
Across the evening; in the wood of its latticed bones--
The eye sockets of every saint of thirst;
In the gullet of each night-blooming flower--the crucifix
Of the arid.
In its core, a monastery of cells, a brotherhood
Of electrons, a column of expanding darkness
Where matter migrates and sparks whorl,
And travel has no direction, where distance
Bends backward over itself and the ascension
Of Venus, the stability of Polaris, are crucial.
The cactus, containing
Whatever can be said to be there,
Plus the measurable tremble of its association
With all those who have been counting.
I was reminded of that poem earlier this week and wanted an excuse to post it. My Friday started slow and quiet, then my neighbor Rose came to visit for a while, and I didn't even get the laundry folded before I got an invitation to a Latias raid. Paul and I went to my parents' house for dinner, where my sister was visiting for the day after going with my mother to the American Craft Show in Baltimore. I haven't seen her since Thanksgiving, so that was very nice!
When we got home, we watched The Spy Who Dumped Me, which is pretty much exactly what I expected except with more killings -- I was hoping the R rating was for more raunch and nudity! The cast is great and the actors are clearly having fun, but the plot is unnecessarily convoluted and violent, though the girl power (villains as well as heroes) makes it enjoyable. Here are some of the cacti and fruit trees last week at the US Botanic Garden, including coffee and cocoa: