This poem is based on a work by Marcel Dzama entitled Untitled 2003.
Nurses grow poppies—
A nurse grows,
and there are lions and boars—
birds of prey—
they have each other’s bodies—
men with feline faces and breasts
under the bristles of hogs—
they are the aphids on our tiger lilies.
Pluck a Chinese dragon from
the branches of your staring poppy/tomato plant;
tell me that it does not swoon!
for it is beneath your iron grasp, and—
that smug smirk of yours;
why do you detest nature?—
give me the zodiac animal, and
I shall save him from the jeers
of your raucous bulbs. Go—
grow your flowers elsewhere, sweet nurse;
there is no call for talking fruit.