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In Search of the Golden Lotus
by Christopher T. George
"Even amidst fierce flames the Golden Lotus can be planted."
Inscription on Sylvia Plath Hughes's tombstone, Heptonstall, England,
by Wu Ch'Eng-En (mid-16th century)
You felt dazzled by the promise
of Cambridge, langorous Cam,
Montmartre's sensuous bistros,
by dark depths of Seine
--not yet the drowned heads,
amputated moons, broken mirrors.
A rainswept graveyard, church of Henry's martyr,
stark tombstone, pale stalks of cut daisies.
Your lad from the pit village, exotic,
like a GI courting a lass,
only in reverse: you, the bobby-soxed
New Englander, neon and bubblegum,
reaching out to touch
the throbbing totem of his verse,
to the blood's drumbeat. If only
passion could sweep you away,
not the riptide of his disinterest.