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BougainvilleaUljana Wolf, translated by Sophie Seita
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Vol. 39 No. 20 · 19 October 2017
Poem

Bougainvillea

Uljana Wolf, translated by Sophie Seita

264 words

1.

mis-dotted morning, how it rises in the mist,
how the blotting paper soaks, watercolours,
incline of leaf tips, or inclined towards tipped-in tulle,
a branchling peels out of its costume, has no
body, uncurls itself, takes its pick (green) and
the nerve endings in the shoulder of the valley
welcome this, they move their arms, wave to the
table, the knots, blossoms, the ungraspable air –

2.

lacking stipules, lacking graspable foundations
around you; and is therefore this lignified scheme
a crime scene of description, membranous, ribbed,
the style often spangled with papillae, do you get it,
without looking, tangled only in the collision of vowels
between hairs, thorns, how this is overgrown, can you
bring it home, the carpel’s seam split into lanceolate
leaves, can you copy that, in the signals’ hybrid twittering –

3.

found ovate bracts, found islands by the wayside today,
cut both ways, luminously triangular, how closely could
you circumnavigate them, whose hands disguised as sailors
could grasp them, pinnate veins and well-stuffed akene,
possibly pressed, weren’t you stranded in the planted air,
with your collector’s mouth and colours unloaded as goods,
as guides, how this hedges, and in a word: en-shrubs you –

4.

once the eyes are out on stalks, tell me how the filaments travel,
scrambling over bricks, fences, lips, nets of small explosives, or
plosives, try it, right here, dot yourself, lips lobed and brittle skin,
fanning inward, loosely folding paper-flowers: source the name
to the island, say solos is a language where flower is plaua,
where one knows collisions, also such borrowings, the freight of picked corollas –

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