The trouble is, you can never take
That flower from Billie’s hair.
She is always walking too fast
and try as we might,
there’s no talking her into slowing.
Don’t go down into that basement,
we’d like to scream. What will it take
to bargain her blues,
To retire that term when it comes
to her? But the grain and the cigarettes,
the narcs and the fancy-dressed boys,
the sediment in her throat.
That’s the soil those petals spring from,
Like a fist, if a fist could sing.
— The Gardenia, Cornelius Eady