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Svendborg Sound

         1. Ramsløg (Allium Ursinum)

All May, and everywhere
         the scent
of scallions seeps in from

         the shadows
wherever the Baltic salts
         the open air

in breezy atmosphere appear
         these thigh-
high, earth-grown, earthbound

white popcorn clusters bursting
         at the ends of

long green reedy shafts, now lit
sparklers, now shooting stars.

         Or frozen
meteor showers in seemingly
         endless rows

of shadowy bouquets, these
pungent edible wildflowers.


         Late June
when Denmark's surrounding waters
         warm, so

will return the transparent iridescent
of jellyfish that float along the docks

         and wash
ashore each year. I could watch them
         for hours

these brilliant see-through negligees
condoms catching light and rainbows

         in the bilge
of moored motor boats bobbing
         up and down;

at first they seem pure contaminant:
         garbage bags
misused, made only to be discarded:

transitory, containing nothing and

themselves; but look close: see one
then pulse, all waking eye. And there

         you are
—another waking I.

Rick Hilles

A Map of the Lost World
University of Pittsburgh Press

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