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Basil


by Henry E. Powderly II


Glow-soaked leaves, 
Like boats, they bow, 
pure green and pillowy, 
cupping the rain in their 
upside-down bumps. 

Plucked for the sauce, 
the soy or mate tomato, 
their scent is soft until 
knifed in fine ribbons.  

Under tooth its savor slightly cinnamon, 
the perfume of roses and geranium. 
The whiff, bright coriander, 
the candy of tarragon, 
its oils tinged citronella, 
thick laurel and pine. 

Such a puzzle, 
in simple leaves, 
the intricate chemistry 
of edible land.
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