All That I know About Four o’clocks
by Grace Curtis


The constant opening and closing
blossoms on the house hedgerow calls
to mind the soft underbelly
of a button
where nothing is lost on shine
___________________________though once, a man was,
___________________________that stood watching
(A thread
can hang loose for years.)
When you speak of

___________________________waiting everyday for
spring, warmth
comes too late. Of summer
___________________________blooms to open,

you will long for fall. Never speak
of it yourself and become

___________________________seized by an unspeakable urge

the u of your own lipogram.
When you sow this shine
you will see only the un-
buffed de-glassed back
of late-morning Mirabilis Jalapa,
flowers that button, unbutton,
button, unbutton,

___________________________to reach out

bursting bush-
bouquet window-high,
window-thick with magenta,

___________________________and touch

yellow, pink, red-veined white rounds
from an inch across that open

like neighborhood girls leaning
on parked cars that line the summer,

___________________________the back

streets, gathering the sun
squeezing between
the early afternoon clouds

___________________________of a unopened
___________________________four o’clock.






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