the stem, the potato, and us

On the Internet I read
that you can take a rose,
slather the stem in honey,
stick it in a potato,
plant the potato in dirt
and wait


The Internet told me I
could expect a new rose
in time


Now, my husband and I work
at a grocery store —
me with the flowers,
him with the produce, and
we discard rose stems and
fading potatoes every day, so
I told him with a wink that even
though we couldn’t have kids,
we could make a baby this way


And in our eyes I felt the objection
to this, because
what if this silly thing from the Internet
doesn’t work, and our potato rose baby
doesn’t live, and what does that mean?


But I planted it anyway,
and soon the bad potato smelled
so bad I had to set the pot
on the fire escape


But I watered it, and watched,
And the stem remained a stem until
one day it was gone


The pot was tipped over,
The potato was eaten through
by some squirrel with low standards


I guess I am not going to read into that

Between Sleep and Conversation

I took a train from France to Italy 
once through the sunflower fields - 
acres of gold stretching
on and on; 
but they were just 
flashes then
between sleep and conversation
and the rhythm 
of the train

I married you in August 
holding aster, nervous hands
I loved those golden circles
set in white
And we looked at us that night 
in the soft candlelight, 
looks we held in full
to hold in time

Now the days are moving 
at time’s determined speed 
and your kisses are so gentle and so firm
between
sleep and conversation
between
each misunderstanding
in the rhythm 
of the endings 
of the days