Poppies in July


Little poppies, little hell flames,

Do you do no harm?


You flicker.  I cannot touch you.

I put my hands among the flames.  Nothing burns


And it exhausts me to watch you

Flickering like that, wrinkly and clear red, like the skin of a mouth.


A mouth just bloodied.

Little bloody skirts!


There are fumes I cannot touch.

Where are your opiates, your nauseous capsules?


If I could bleed, or sleep! -

If my mouth could marry a hurt like that!


Or your liquors seep to me, in this glass capsule,

Dulling and stilling.


But colorless.  Colorless.