And so he gave her flowers, whose five tongues,
and suave unhuman lips that drink the sun,
might speak to other senses than his own,
as with cold flame, silk that breathes, coloured wings.
Leeching survival from an alien
element, they would know such languages
as cured the strangeness between hers and his.
Strangeness, because all beauty and all love
walk the unusual ways, and are unsure
except of self and image: what is there
but crying-out to one-another Give
and, pleading, Take? The union, the pure
not-spoken marriage, needs interpreters
to cure the strangeness between his and hers.
And so he gave her flower: yes, they died
almost at once. But, flower-sexed, and vased
in what they lived-by, these two lovers used
those emblems for the life of what they did:
no lovers learn the assurance of the dead,
but gift and symbol cannot die; it is
their commerce that keeps age from hers and his.