Dry flowers chafe in a January vase
while I long for bouquets of early
summer wantonly riotous from t
he Mennonite Market stall where prim, unadorned girls with soft assuaging hands
sort a beauty they must interiorize,
only their bare fingers know
the seductive sweetness.
Here in the white and grey nunnery
of winter a memory of awakening
scandalizes with the covert yearning
for perfume and promise
softening the beds of earth
stretching long days of kindling light
seeming as a scene from an old cathedral painting in an impressionist gallery
where barefoot suppliants tease toes
and drink the alcohol of flowers.