In the delicate spray of a spider lily
a memory of your tongue on the tip
of impossible words, Lycoris radiata’s
short-lived bloom posed itself in lilting
tropical stamens, heavy with clipped
nuances of red. An airborne anemone
the spider lily appeared to wink behind
a Dali- curl of whiskery petals, defying
the nervous bloodied look in your eye
as you approached its naked slender stem
with newly sharpened secateurs.
That September in Mississippi
spider lilies dropped their petals
when you took my hand and offered
me a freshly severed flower.