Rita Dove

The Secret Garden

I was ill, lying on my bed of old papers,
when you came with white rabbits in your arms;   
and the doves scattered upwards, flying to mothers,   
and the snails sighed under their baggage of stone . . .

Now your tongue grows like celery between us:   
Because of our love-cries, cabbage darkens in its nest;   
the cauliflower thinks of her pale, plump children   
and turns greenish-white in a light like the ocean’s.

I was sick, fainting in the smell of teabags,   
when you came with tomatoes, a good poetry.   
I am being wooed. I am being conquered
by a cliff of limestone that leaves chalk on my breasts.