Elam picked among his clarities
to find the first black apples oozing
out their mutant blooms inside his nervous
garden. Rows of brainflowers, fat as cabbages,
were throbbing on their stems in full sun
beside grotesqueries like rosewood skeletons,
the pulmonary shrubs, and venous orchids
gorgeous as stained glass.
he must have thought that sanity would bring
him peace of mind, because he never did
prepare for instinct in his enterprise.
Few if any knew about his creatures,
starting with the birds: out of uncountable
panicles of some forgotten bloom,
he cloned a pigeon that would flit erratically
amid the equinoctial fogs on lobed,
primitive wings he fledged in tendrils and leaves.
That was his baptismal try at flight.
Pigeons. Afterwards he rooted his
Cerulean warblers in the combs of grasses
edging every patio–where musically
they classified as news, though ecologically
they were unsound, like his cranes before
he got the hang of it, painted like
Max Factor, cloned from water plants
as pink as harlots, as carnivals, and floating
over goldfish. Loons in the long canals
crooned their funeral songs.
while he stoked the nursery stove, his hunger
spoke for a time, and noted that he hadn’t
seen the end of his manipulations–
and though he later brought his wolves to birth,
and jimmied bears from various and insectivorous
and had the nightly fruit bats depending
from prodigious fuchsia, and suspended his
amphibians within elusive tubers–
all of which signaled a crescendo–,
yet what he’d understood of his desire
was meant as fair warning. Let us walk
a little while together, he would say
to Sarah as the wasps would carry on
around the apricots, and serpents were,
like subways, hissing beneath them among
the mushrooms. Everything is still dying.