for Robert Savage

You wield their magic Merlinwise, incant
the once anonymous world: You said

wintergreen as a chill on my tongue
acknowledged a fusion of seasons—

hibernal verdure in the tumble-brown
and layered years of leaves. When you said

hepatica and rolled the stone aside
to reveal the first small resurrections,

I stared into their cups and crowns
of light, their sympathetic lobes,

the liver-shapes that yield elixir,
and wanted to believe, seeing their loppy

ease atop the dead earth. Then you said
bloodroot and conjured ruddy souls for us

from the empty whiteness of its petals. And when
you let the syllables rock tripe tumble,

I watched the pale, curled flakes shudder,
take wing against the granite sky.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 7 Number 10, on page 37
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