May 1, 2019 | 2019 Spring - Firsts, Articles, Poetry

By Samantha Pious

Pink and silver flowers raining down
float lingering, all around me, in mid-air

as though my body were a cherry tree
limbs branching toward a hundred thousand buds

disclosing, after twenty fallow springs,
the secret they’ve been holding in at last

of petals delicate and sheer and fine
and smooth and liquid as a roll of silk

that’s aromatic with the heady scent
of sweet, full nectar. Yes, I know that this

is the oldest trick in the book,
but I am making a record anyway because

that night—and this I truly do believe,
despite my clumsy tongue, my shaking voice—

come out of Limbo, lyre and pen in hand,
the twin shadows of Sappho and H.D.

in crowns of ocean violets, blue and white,
who never shrink from flower imagery

paid me a visit as I lay asleep.

Samantha Pious is the translator of A Crown of Violets: Selected Poems of Renée Vivien (Headmistress Press, 2017) and acquisitions editor at Indolent Books.

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