He braided daisy chains and called them flowers; she tangled words and
called them speech. I was the only one who knew
the truth; that the thin lines of cellulose that run beneath the tender skin of a leaf
are not so different from the veins of blood and sentiment
that pulse through syllables as they
smack against your teeth.
I was the weaver. To the art of his flower arranging,
I added in her words,
until it was no longer clear whose work was whose.
I taught her poetry,
and he taught me composition.
nothing in particular
--except how to laugh
at the arching of a word
or the stress of a phrase,
and we would stare at the ceiling and whistle
and cluck and hiss words up into the air,
giving them up as offerings to a deity
long since departed.
Things changed; he
turned to painting, the artist's true calling,
as if flowers were below him,
and she turned to that literary snobbery
that defied my wordspinning.
I had no words of my own.