Between two blues, hydrangea and sky,
a chemistry—each dome of many petals
a concentration vessel for the day
and for the dark, a synthesis of hours,
cerulean of morning, streaks of haze,
the paler blue of noon’s metallic tones,
filaments of early sunset’s pink,
dusk’s purples, cloud-front’s silver-gray….
I lean to peer in through a single petal.
It shivers in a next-to-nothing breeze.
It trembles at a faster frequency
when cars pass on the street behind me.
The weightless wafer, even in the shade
my bowing torso casts, a luminous collector,
it sums up all the skies that have passed over,
a thumbnail hologram of planet’s path.
My eye inhales—hint of peyote.
All instants in a glimpse. My breath flows
out, and in its wake, the petal shimmers,
time-silk on a stemlet, iridescent.
I’ll walk away, head down toward the lake,
past lavender, magnolias, a white rose…
the blue hydrangea’s distillate of light
a dissipating echo in a thinning
thicket, old city-dweller’s brain.
I’ll scan for damselflies and pigeons’ necks,
where little rainbows hover over sprinklers,
where broken motors trickle oil slicks,
and crystals dangle in old hippies’ windows.
I’ll think of old gay Alex, commune-mate
who went and went more spectral, happily
insane on too much acid, till he paused
with perfect timing for the dazzle of a train
to break him from his boney stalk, to take him
home, through the blue sheen in the black
of crows’ coats. I’ll recall my own
firstborn’s translucent sky-like irises,
windows on the blue before desire.
I’ll wonder, an hour or two this afternoon,
how, in all time’s blue gas fire, this blue
that Homer never claimed in all his Odyssey,
that glinted nameless on the bloody shore
and lit the wine-dark sea, came through
one petal of a many-tinted flower.