Chloe Firetto-Toomey

CABBAGE FLOWER

I don’t know where I am. The planet is a blister pack foiled in stars.

Every ovum wants to expand, to unfurl with cactus flowers
or whale sounds to a series of low frequency pulses.
Barnacle geese synchronized swimming-
do you arrow home?
Look down the line.

Look down the line before you travel Roman cobblestones,
pigeons on every statue head in Europe.
I left for unknown places with unknown purpose.
Do you remember eating Scottish oysters in Kew Gardens, the bridge overhead?
It was Valentine’s Day, light shifted through the Victorian greenhouse.

Here, the sun is a gargantuan yolk punctured at moonrise.

Every moonrise mother says come home-
come back lavender honey, poached egg, lost key in the sand.

In the sand, a tiny hawksbill presses towards lamplight illusions of moon.
I smoke a pack of cigarettes retracing steps and retrieving shapes-
like bronchioles are grape stems, red balloons or planet-seeds.

This is a natural pattern: logarithmic spiral in baby romanesco.

Baby romanesco torn from the stalk,
add garlic to it
turn up the flame.
Keep it covered, simmering bone broth for my lover.
Come here my little cabbage flower, he says,
Mon Petit Chou Fleur.

Mon Petit Chou Fleur, My Little Cabbage Flower,
it’s rainy season again and we’re still flicking cigarette butts
in the canal as parrots pass overhead
full from bottlebrush flowers.
Mum called today.
She dreamt I was old,
a raisin on the cafeteria floor,
a husk in aerial roots,
in her dream I say,

I’m not coming home.

I go home in memories of memories:
wood smoke, paper crowns
pulled from Christmas crackers,
eggshell clouds cracking over the elm trees.

Outside the cafeteria, a barnacle goose is besotted with its reflection.
Goose shit creates a galaxy splattered on concrete.
I miss mum,
school lunches of ham and pickle sandwiches,
cheese and onion crisps
destined to be soggy
and crushed in hallows of my backpack.

In hallows of my backpack are fresh cut keys,
an empty blister pack and dirty Tupperware.
Protein threads sail the ivory surface of eyeballs,
they are like grape stems, elusive.
Travel to me, Mon Petit Chou Fleur.
I always think of you,
raisin on the cafeteria floor, baby romanesco, cabbage flower-

where did you go
after we swallowed
those star throated
water lilies?

AN ART MODEL CONTEMPLATES FIVE LINES ANNE CARSON
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