Don’t speak to me of heartbreak, I have an argument

with habits of metaphor—it’s not the heart


In April I brought tulips white

pale green and orange in from the garden


you mean but the ineffable—character soul

locus of feeling—don’t tell me that muscle


and with his fine pen he drew page after

page of delicate ravishing tulips


is made whole by breaking—the thready beat

made stronger if ravaged, then repaired


In June plush peonies named for Paean

the physician to ancient gods


Could we salvage joy from each day loosening

Then July I brought the overabundance


of the Oriental lily’s perfume

our ravenous hold on the world?


his hand transfigured the rich ivory paper

Where could it be written,


to a garden room various edenic alive

why would anyone say, why would


a rabbi teach the heart survives by breaking?

August now and great maples tall oaks darken


and cool the garden so flowers know not to thrive

that in black ink my love may still shine bright