Intoxicants Of The Herbal Sort (Or Revenge Of The Killer Palms)

[* This poem is interspersed with the beeping sound of the Morse code.]

Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee.

Remorse

Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee.

As you stand poised to enter my front door,
you can't avoid a plant - an Elkhorn -
hanging on the wall, reaching out to touch you.

Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee.

You knock, I open the door.
My face is half sheltered by the fronds of the Alexander Palm on the right, standing like a silent butler,
waiting to greet you.

Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee. Dee-dee deee.

Go ahead. Come on in.

Dee-dee.

Remorse.

As you sit on my cushion, you are eye to eye with Phil:
my philodendrons. You may look away if you wish.

Remorse. Remorse.

Deee dee-dee.

To your left are the ferns,
On your right, out the window see the casuarina trees?
Next to the TV is something
palmy, pawy, and broad leafed too.

Remorse Remorse Remorse

Mulch, Mush, dragon pots, terra cotta.

And don't you laugh.
One of the plants in this room
may have been your daughter.

(1989)

by Simmon Tan

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