Portrait d'un Homme

—after Ezra Pound

Your words are sprawling witchgrass,
and you, my slender weed, have ruined
the sweet sorghum in me.
Your mouth opens and I see the swollen seedpods
pushing through your rough tongue.
They sprout thick green wicks and grow
into this or these: tendrils of dark ideas, spars of untruths.
You have come to me as you have gone to others—
brazenly, with piercing arrows of aspidistra, cornering me
in your Caspian Sea. I have stayed here too long,
becoming brine-stung and sun-tarnished—a scrap of driftwood
sodden with too much time.
Your absence is like an invisible, leafless tree.
Knowing no bottom, your wiry taproot no longer reaches deep
bloodstone, preferring instead topsoil, gaudy fools gold.
  
Weed, sea, tree.
In the whole and all, this is you.
After This or These
Jennifer Hearn
Hearn_cover

After This or These

Jennifer Hearn

Floating Wolf Quarterly Cover_wolf