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In an Old Hotel.

 In for the night I empty my pockets, gallery stub, train card,
what's left of all my 20s, and the crushed bloom--Who placed it in
my hand, was she a new immigrant, or a hedgefund girl who walked into my
23rd Street daydream and said "Eat the body of this flower"--
What is this spiky beauty, a tiny sister to the giant pine cone pillaged
for the Vatican that Dante snarled into an enemy's prickly face?
Cone scepter in the hand of an Egyptian queen? Maybe it's arrived
from home and the carnival of daisy-stars in our yard-- fleabane or
aster or the great purplehead itself, echinacea spinning its seed
stories of the Lenape healers who practiced its three dozen uses.
Tincture w/ goldenseal is my cold cure. The little cone funnels me into
solitude in this old hotel, eating hours, chewing them to delicious
powder, into good work--like good hash, made by hand, sieves, scissors.
Emperor Shen Nung doled out hash for beriberi, "female
weakness," malaria, & absent mindedness in 2737 BC. My sore
eyes & crooked Baci fingers ease while I smoke and sweeten my
enemies, myself, in my room's unfinished wall repair, a fresco--
field I dream on while adjusting the brass screen to my pipe, pleasure
in handling this gift of kief, carving it into dusky blonde curls.
Strike the match again and enter another country suffused with smoky
texture of my love's kiss sending me off through the gate. 
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Article Details
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Author:Vollmer, Judith
Publication:Prairie Schooner
Article Type:Poem
Date:Dec 22, 2014
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