I

You are clear
O rose, cut in rock,
hard as the descent of hail.

I could scrape the colour   
from the petals
like spilt dye from a rock.

If I could break you   
I could break a tree.

If I could stir
I could break a tree—
I could break you.


II

O wind, rend open the heat,   
cut apart the heat,   
rend it to tatters.

Fruit cannot drop   
through this thick air—
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears   
and rounds the grapes.

Cut the heat—
plough through it,
turning it on either side   
of your path.
  • Source: Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2004)

Poet Bio

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