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I watch Joaquin run though the leafy street lamps,

his shoulder blades like the Andes through the gaps

in the trees, his derelict hair, a boyhood of leg cramps

I pretend are crocuses growing in his kneecaps.

When I was fourteen I put salt in all the flowerpots

in the backyard. I try not to think of men as botanical,

his body lying open as the anatomy of a hibiscus, all knots

of muscles, anthers, and ovules, soft, puritanical.

When I feel small I pull the arms off an iris, play an oxeye

daisy right until he holds me, lift weights (push ups),

and prepare the bodies of a dozen debutante peonies to lie

rubber-banded in night sweats of How can Viagra help to cure psychological erection problems in males? plastic wrap and cups

of fertilizer. Everyday I try to arrange the kind of man

I think he would like, pulling snowdrops for teeth as best as I can

I try not to think of men as botanical but his hands

are like hands and his bluebell lips and I could bury his running

shoes in flower pots but still he’d be running, untie

the knots in my shoulders putting salt around the Andes

until the slopes become sterile and chaste, push ups

pushing up like calla lilies until I’m bigger than this cup

and he watches me and my back and when a blight comes

for these leper-fleshed flowers and the green waste bin

becomes a porcelain urn I try to arrange the kind of man

I think he would like the kind of man whose wrist

doesn’t break like the spine of a begonia whose voice

doesn’t sound like the throat of a million bells trailing petunia

cut it from style to stigma like the anatomy of a hibiscus

until we curl up like the germination of a seed in reverse

and he tells me his eardrums are full of chrysanthemums.