you grow my garden. no, you are
                    the whole of it: the beds of zinnias,
        tiger lilies, begonias, petunias, in all
                              their taken-for-granted variety :: irises

waving purple flags from the tops
                    of long stalks :: daffodils and violets by
        the bushel, rhododendrons and azaleas
                              by the bush. you are the greenhouse

in the western quadrant, the rainforest
                    inside, and the delicate herd of orchids,
        strange by stranger, each out-thriving
                              the other. not just lovely, you’re

the courtyard, central, complete
                    with benches for contemplating
        the round, still pool, an eye gazing
                              back at the ones looking down. you’re

the meadow of tall grasses that hide
                    everything but the sound of the stream ::
        the arched boughs of the peach orchard,
                              the rows of beans, corn, greens, gourds,

the root vegetables, the parsley, sage,
                    rosemary, and chives, oregano, basil,
        and, yes, all the thyme in the world.
                              you’re the stand of aspens waving me

on :: the grove of willows that arc
                    and cascade, but never weep :: the oaks,
        maples, and birches encircling the verge.
                              here, i become my best self, i exist at

peace with birds and bees, no knowledge
                    is denied me: i eat the apple, speak
        with the snake, and nothing as obnoxious
                              as an angel could oust me from this soil,

the plot where the best of my stories
                    has its genesis, and finds its end.