Lotus Cross-Dress

by Christina Pugh

That scroll of the lotus bud will
smoke, unopened: its petals light
a taper: its windowed pages swirl
cylindric, fever blushes channeled
up the tip. To unfurl them now
would be blissful hypothetical–
try to imagine it by cutting a
French novel with a pearl-
handled knife, or loosening
a corset’s stays, or peeling
a girdle to let discord flame
between a face’s testimony and
the mystery that swaddles
underneath. The movies show
this abyssal consternation,
soon to be charred in love’s
consumption— when the suitor
finally sees and doesn’t
care, doesn’t care.

Last updated April 06, 2023