Wisteria (a Poem about Love)

Of all flowers
Wisteria is most like love.
As a shoot you
Do not suspect its power.

It needs a thing to climb on
Even, at first, the slightest wisp
Of a reed,
Or a dry stick;

A gesture
Or a glance or risk
It spins tough coils
It seals its secret tight

And uses it to ladder to the light
When it flowers it evokes
The sea or sky,
Its petals have small charms

Like a single
Kiss
But in aggregate they open
Into something nearer bliss

From something delicate it quickly swells
It laps like a snake,
Its squeeze
Takes on the aspect of a tree

Its fruit, that delicate intangible hue,
Is not forbidden but it’s true
Evokes an aspiration 
Which never gains its due

Whatever gives it purchase on the sky
Never really dies
Though it becomes
Merely a tenant.

The dry stalk of a lesser flower
Straws of spent wheat
Can mean what,
Enclosed within this power?

Some have tried to tame it
With a grid of trellis work
Something like
The geometric efforts of Descartes

But wisteria is a traveler
With the softness of a sly caress
It rips the strongest cage apart
No mathematics can contain the boundless urges of the heart

Finally,
It needs no support at all
And what it first leaned on
Can simply fall-

Though its nature
Is also charity:
It tends to reach, to touch, to curl,
To give less lasting things some stature

And to withhold from gravity
The things around it
And hold them in the light,
However broken, however slight.

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