My lover gave me green leaves by Josephine Dickinson



My Lover Gave Me Green Leaves


My lover gave me green leaves

with the mud of the garden on them,

radishes sharp and red,

nasturtium flames.


He gave me the tender heart

of a cabbage, its glossy coat,

a loaf of bread studded deep

with seeds.


He gave me the note

the blackbird

I’d cried at the blackness of

by the river sang.


He gave me the struck fire

of the thoughts

in his mind—

flint on flint.


He gave me the taste,

direct on his tongue,

of the syllables their embers

did not destroy.


He gave me his word,

the word of an Adam—

a promise,

should he set eyes on the sun.


He gave me a drop of the dew

to hold.

To see my face in it.

To look through.


He gave me,

in the chrisomed palm

of his empty hand—

a gasp of joy.


Josephine Dickinson





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