Asiatic Lilies

By Joyce Peseroff

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The six-foot stalks, like Amazon spears
thrust into the bull's-eye of a barrel sawed in half,
all tilt east. They are javelins
thrown by the rising moon.

Tasseled with three or four crimson blossoms,
they advertise a roadside nursery
the way a school basketball team, waving scarlet varsity jackets
aloft, implores alumni to open their wallets.

I would buy an entire quiver
trimmed so fetchingly, and so accurate.
I would picket my patio with severe blood-blooms
and hide like a mandarin behind my army.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2005/10/asiatic-lilies/304248/