Zinnias

Here is the frontier
These colors the colors of my grandmother's cheeks lips
Maybe her petticoats other things
Girls don't wear nowadays
They speak passions
Savage sharp as bitter wine
When they stand against the white bells of my grandmother's dresses.

They have the same hard stiff pleated virtue
As her unscented barbarous salt-white limbs
Her zinnia-eyes do not matter
Like her black hair the soil of only one island has this likeness.

Zinnias starched clean unpolished
Zinnias like little girls' petticoats crisp
Zinnias proud as my grandmother's upholstery
Silent as the zinnia-quilts on her bed.
Zinnia-colors in long rag rugs
Zinnia-colors in oval rope mats
These my grandmother's colors
Speak to me of her salt-white limbs
Lying down with my grandfather with the ardor
Of a great iron bell ringing in sleep
Intoning a zinnia-shuttered dream
Ringing in sleep.