Today's poem is by Kevin Stein

Wishful Rhetoric

Finis. I love the oh-so-postmodern opening—
the reversal of expectations intimating a fresh start,
as does potty training or the pre-dinner mint.
After all, in this way the end's a beginning.

So Finis. There now, the daisies' clean faces
need never wrinkle, their eyes never shut,
and the plump clump swaying in May breeze
need never dismantle June's skeletal erector set.

That's that. So the orchard's Jonathan need not
drop and rot, the iris's plush petals might
always enshrine its flushed lips, and the lilac
(my favorite) can spend its profligate scent

without fear of overdraft. Breathe in and forget
the out. I am the bank, the root, the fat honeycomb.
I am the aphid milking an everlasting tit.
There now, I'll make the twenty calls from home,

each beginning, "My father died last night."

Copyright © 2005 Kevin Stein All rights reserved
from The Kenyon Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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