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Jardin du Poète


The garden's ancient walls are low and broken
and thus (yes, "even at my age") easy
to scale. They say this was a garden Goethe
adored. I see him sketching: helichrysum,
angelica (whose name reminds him of . . . )
and focused: parsing genus, species, love.
I'm sure he knew that cypress is the tree
that marks Italian cemeteries, death
embodied in the dark green spears that gesture
toward heaven. I inhale : crisp vetiver,
grapefruit and orange so pungent that I'm thrust
back to another garden, where I learned
of bitter oxymoron in the sweet
and luscious fruit he fed me, piece by piece;
the faintly musky warmth of his embrace;
the ancient stone walls crumbled, and my trust.


Moira Egan

Synęsthesium
Criterion Books


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