RELEASED: May 15, 2008
By Chelsea Apple
Trembling in the silver light, the boy strung his needle
With blue thread, surgically thin.
He tore the packet open with his teeth, let the seedlings
Spill across the desk, piling like rice grains in an hourglass.
He rolled a tiny amber drop between his fingertips
Before he pressed it to his tongue and began to sew.
In and out the needle stabbed, neat little rows enveloped
In thin folds of flesh like ginger peels,
Salivating in the womb.
When the flowers came they burst like stars,
Tendrils of color drizzling over his lips,
Dusting his chin with pollen.
The crowds paid a dollar to see
This garden boy, with petals playing musical notes
Against the roof of his mouth.
The girl had grown with the firm press of concrete;
She had stroked the frigid sheen of glass and steel.
But this boy, with blossoms trumpeting over his tongue,
Was like candied lights, frosted fireworks in summer.
She spoke to him on a Tuesday
And on Wednesday they went shopping
For Chinese bowls and candlesticks and fertilizer.
They mixed milk tea in her kitchen (the best for growing flowers),
And watched television after dark.
But when she finally turned to him and
Spoke of love
He stood, walked into her tiled bathroom, closed the door,
And ripped the whole mess out by the root.
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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