Mobirise Site Generator

Two Contemporary Poets

Spring, 2004

Ioanna Warwick

The Black Iris

She'd stay home for days,
watching a blossom disclose
its velvet throat, the secret
fur of the narrow tongue -

waiting for the arc
of black purple,
the blood-tinged light,
flare from the richest dark

swelling the perilous curve
of the corolla's horizon,
the nunlike petals that hide
the burgundy cleft in the heart

the passion of patience inside
cowled with a hood of blue.
Look long enough at anything,
and it will grow in you -

a lover born
of Aphrodite foam
of detail and the deep
irisness of iris -

until in the center
of the blossom of your life
opens your own
patient blue, pulsing

toward violet. On breath-edge
of all-embracing
black, she said,
To see a flower takes time.