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Volume 2 | Issue 3 | March 2008 | 

Flower Noises
Lesley Wheeler


Time-lapse films never play the noise
flowers make, the grunt of the soiled
shoot or the squelch of each leaf cut
like a tooth. The rumbling bud swells
and petals pop with the crispy splat
of a potato into fat. The blossom shrieks
in the sun and down it thuds. Time
secretes an unhappy sound, like the snotty
child who wishes his mother would stop
taking the minutes, recording the motions,
filing his nays away forever. He
wants me to rewind the hours: if
he is going to heave earth-movers
at the mantel clock, gnash like shears,
and stomp the ancient atlas off the shelf,
he must adopt a heroic cause.
He rejects choice itself, that it erects
a “Trail Closed” sign on a path
in a yellow wood—he demands
every road open always and who
can blame him when the light lies
down and gilds life’s decay,
spring’s pretty tissue groaning
as it molds. Each fork deserves
its own tantrum, if not now
then in a little while, at sunset
in the meadow where an uncatchable
rabbit pants, listening to the day-
lilies close, his flimsy ears aglow.

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