For bruise, freckle, fever: the windflower,
the saturnine fern, clumps of daisies and wands
of lupine edge a path along a hedge
where catmint, rose and delphiniums breathe.
Cessation then movement are tealight's extravagant grounds
or earth to hold you tightly in fist.
As palms lobe over you showy sepal, in crown
and lips parting to an expanse of teeth.
The place in floruit weeps the old story,
the broad things in staircase and study,
the golden fleece of age unaffected.
But all that flattery gets you in this white autumn
on the scale of change, is a slight shiver
parceled in a clove hitch of lips whose kiss
tightens more to reflect on.