You don’t put flowers in poems
         for decoration, or to fill in
         empty spaces, but because
         they punctuated your days
         at a certain juncture—
         like the milkweed blooming
         by the road when I went running
         (sweating and thinking about sex)
         that first summer we were apart,
         the first year we were together.
         I pressed one sweet pink globe
         between the pages of my Rimbaud
         and enclosed it with a letter.
         Thirty-two years later,
         its stain still marks the poems.
 
 
 
 
 
JEFFREY HARRISON is the author of four full-length books of poems—most recently Incomplete Knowledge (Four Way Books), which was runner-up for the Poets’ Prize in 2008—as well as of The Names of Things (2006), a selection published by the Waywiser Press in the U.K. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, he has new work in recent or forthcoming issues of The Yale Review, The New Republic, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.