Loosely leaning down, around—
a lemon carousel. 

The nearest one is peering through a lone
triangular eye at me.
(Does foxglove bloom for the bee?)

Through the manzanilla glass of my own green eyes
these twenty-two yellows are light; this close-up cup,
a flood.

The miracle, not only spring—so
many things beginning.
But sexlessness
and rest.

Blue vase, bent stems; petals, pale and evasive.
Not a scent.

Questions and Answers

What inspired “Tulips”?

This is a lyric; that is, a personal poem, in which I both reveal and shield myself through tulips. Flora and fauna are pervasive sources of tropes in my poetry; they allow me to “say it slant.”

This poem “Tulips” originally appeared in Canadian Literature 180 (Spring 2004): 29.

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