Desk Flowers

susan smith nash





A lily, colors frayed

seams of artifice

a motif glued to a jar;

a coy gardenia,

to echo the politic office,

another after-work evening

my desk pushed to the wall;


the men are here

to tear the carpet from the concrete --

my desk rests on air

next to rolls of rugs

teaching themselves to fly




these dusty, faded silks,

bound together by wire and industry

small fingers, far-away sweatshops

are not like mine, too thick with age,

privilege, and the scent of leather

distressed by a body pulling itself down to earth


both against the wall,

frayed like fantasies

what might have been

or what might be

wire, silk, a flower

or you


(5 may 2001)