Member of the mint family, fleshy stemmed,
tough as a fist, and thick. Those bushy hairy leaves
left in the sun turn purple, make a shallow cleft,
a warm labia. God, one gift
would have been enough but he didn’t stop.
Out the window, I can see where the lilies lie
awake under the warm earth in my yard. The roots
of the word coleus: sheath, male part fused tight
into a fat stamen, power to stand,
stamina, and the warp
of an upright loom in ancient Rome.
I should mourn and contemplate the slow death
of a man on a cross this first mild afternoon.
I should water and dust this unwanted gift,
move the tin pot around the room for light.
(quoted line from Rachel Mennies’ “April 18, 2017”)