I Have Let Things Slip
Leslie Williams (bio)

I could be wrong about the incarnadine
  jewelry of these tulips— deep-streaked
as if risen from a flood— as salve for a mind blowing off

in slight wind— tickseed, cotton boll, so much fluff—
  from childbed’s airtight province comes a hot
and stealthy flowering— broken from, yet seeking such—

I should have asked for an indifference, as tree or cloud.
  Or to have sooner been the woman almost ready
in the girl. Everyone knew but me, that the passion

means the suffering, that words we use are seeded
  with an earlier sense, that all the eggs a girl
will have are present in her infant ovaries.

And that outcomes are often manifest long before
  the setting out: alongside gold and
frankincense, was the myrrh for preparing a shroud.



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