The Botanist Lectures, After His Betrayal

Posted on 19 April 2010

Consider the taproots of jimson weed,
the stout stems, leaves with teeth,
sepals cupping the star flower.

Note its corolla of contradiction,
a falconer palming a raptor
in the clothing of a dove.

Often mistaken for morning glory,
nightshade with angel and apple aliases,
also devil’s trumpet, stink weed.

And here is the gardener who rests
between rows of benign fruit,
while seeds squint from pod slits.

The weed is tall as a woman,
with leaves that spindle prick,
pull apples from a sleeve.

Visions of the jimson weed are brief,
false as belladonna, or flowers
that will die in the afternoon.

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