Fine Precious Things

precious things

She distills him from remembrance
as costly feeling shades
from their essential palate,
reduced in the immediate
to fine precious things
refined like lead to gold
in airy dreams of alchemists.

She pinches red strands
of saffron…moist to harvest
from crocus blooming acres
to cram in glass retorts
for a scarlet savor.

From ‘round cacti spines
she plucks enameled insects,
mere parasites sipping dew,
to mix salt crystalline
in a mortar pestle crush
to bright carmine redness.

Then from Tyrian seas
she fishes lucent snails
whose dye bearing veins
she slits…opens intense
concentrate into tin vessels
for a density of purple.

Bonnie Marshall

Art by Carol Nelson