The First Flower
Not yet have I taken root in the world
nor the minds of humans, nor in their garden pools.
The ibis, the crocodile, the serpent,
and the legions of frogs gather about me.
I have sheltered them, fed them, been the shade
under which they have rested and refreshed themselves.
I stand firm but flexible, I float
on the surface of the Nile’s swampy banks.
I know I am beautiful to the eyes
though men and gods have often not seen me.
His legs brush against me as I lie,
my petals caress his living, radiant flesh.
The feeling–I am flushed, I am no longer pale,
I am no longer invisible among reeds and papyrus.
Nefertem’s blue beauty smiles upon me
and Harpocrates gives way upon his white flower throne.
I have been raised up by the flesh of a boy,
the grime of his toil, the dust, a beast’s blood…
He stands over me, exuberant, cleansed,
and his eyes catch me with a smile:
No word he says, but I know I will have
a god within me when he is raised to the stars.