Trees of Life

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

I saw on the news
that scientists have learned
to grow the cells of a heart muscle
in the cellulose left behind
when you suck out
everything that makes
a leaf of spinach
     a leaf of spinach.

Hollowed out, limp white, the ghosts
of greenery can be seeded
with the tiniest dose
of humanity, a scattering
of frightened cells that grasp
the vascular scaffold
and cling for dear life —
these wisps of blood remember
another time when we huddled like this,
against the walls of ventricular caves
back before time had a name —
our cells huddle and cling
until plant and muscle merge
and chlorophyll learns
to give up sunlight and sustain
itself on the thu-thump thu-thump
of pulse and bloodflow.

It turns out you can transform
all sorts of vegetation into veins: parsley,
sweet wormwood, arterial jewelweed —
even the straight column from twig or stick
can be worried down to translucent shell
and taught to become a vessel of blood.

That night I slept and dreamt
of red vines that crept aortic at my ankles,
of lush capillary jungles, flooded, throbbing,
of a garden of wild muscle —

a place where the sun rises cardiac,
red on petals engorged, a place where,
when rain showers gently down,
you can stroll among the stems,

run the tips of your fingers across
the veins of the leaves,
and feel heartbeats in the blossoms,
in the four-chambered pistil and stamen,
in the breath of pollen, a mist like copper.

The Unwanted Spring

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

The weather crouches
and readies herself to leap
into the basin of warmth and rain.
She loosens the towel of winter
at her waist and lets it fall.

I wish I were a lifeguard.
I wish I could loose a shrill blast
from an orange whistle,
seize her wrist,
close the pool:
lock us on the cusp
of the last cold snap,

all because spring is coming
and all the days of it
will slip by
with you in your city
and I in mine.

My hand is empty.
How can I walk
through the garden
and show you
the fresh buds ready to burst?
the purple gillyflower,
the pink ranunculus,
the white lisianthus
with the tips of her petals
dipped in paint?

The bees like little doctors
have begun their rounds,
and today, a grasshopper
tanned his long legs
on the porch rail.
Pause the seasons
until you are here
and I can share these
little beauties of life
with you.

I don’t ask much.
Let weather only wait
until we are together again —
then she can dive,
then can spring wash us
in hot greenery,
in the blossom of the sun.

What My Heart Wears

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

My heart wears yellow sunglasses.
My heart wears satin in blues, wears all the hues
of a flower garden bloomed in finger and paint.
My heart wears galaxies in shades of bruise.

My heart wears cedar faces, my heart chases places
magical and strange, my heart wears card games
my laughing heart laughs, wears song after song
until my heart sleeps and music plays on.
My heart wears long into the night.

My heart wears dizzy the flesh and scent of orange.
My heart wears dizzy in love.

My heart wears wind, wears sand, wears stars,
wears the thousand tail lights of a thousand cars.
The thigh of my heart wears fire;
the hip and shoulder of my heart wears plum.
My heart in my mouth wears desire,
my heart moans slick with desire,
my heart wears my mouth,
but my heart goes north while I go south.

My heart wears away like away is a dress,
and my love for my heart is not little or less
for my heart being elsewhere and away.

My heart will wear yesterday until yesterday becomes
the next day I hold my heart in my hands again
and kiss the lips of my heart
and the throat of my heart,
until I wear my heart and my heart wears me again.