Adrienne Rich

Unknown Quantity

Spring nights you pillow your head on a sack
of rich compost     Charcoal, your hair

sheds sparks through your muttered dreams 
Deep is your sleep in the starless dark

and you wake in your live skin to show me
a tulip     Not the prizewinning Queen of the Night

furled in her jade wrappings 
but the Prince of Darkness,     the not-yet,     the X

crouched in his pale bulb 
held out in the palm of your hand

Shall we bury him wait and see what happens
will there be time for waiting and to see