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If you expected the sun
dripping through sweet oleander
to chase the bright ripples and run
its reflections to lightly meander
on marble, pink-veined in the gold,
through a foam of cerise bougeanvillea
which a pale blue sky would enfold,
for the leaves to be fluttery and frillier,
and not this dark cave, mud above,
thick fig through the pool, and that must,
you know only the outskirts of love
and nothing at all of lust.
Fig, carob, juniper, thyme,
red gums, gorge to sky,
thick leaves, slow climb
down to the mud: a cry
echoes still on clay walls
round the fig’s thick trunk.
Water drinks love’s brawls:
Adonis gasped, and sunk.
Still pool, still hot,
dark, earthy, wet.
Gods try deny what
flesh will not forget.