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from Lipstick

I ask you, how the hibernating bulb
knows when to jerk awake?
Pinioned in the ice-dark earth
perpetual night of wet and cold
How does it know the time has come
to push the bleached blind maggoty shoot
out into the stone-frost dirt
on cue to flower on April 23rd?


I dare you, take a bulb and strip away
its glossy, coppery paper shell
the onion-like white folds on folds
and show me where it keeps the clock
or microchip which tells it when to start
so it will flower to the day with its companions
however chill and damp the spring.
One laggard never oversleeps and pops up in September.


I defy you, take the spiralling DNA of me
the pumping, wooshing ventricles,
the zing-charged porridge in my head,
and show me where I keep the love for you
that will outlast my life.