Homage to Georgia O’Keeffe

March 29, 1994

Amaryllis.

corollas

of blood-red petals

flaring out immense

from deeper darker throats

moving out in waves

of deepest scarlet lake

alizarin and crimson madder.

Menacing

threatening

to draw you in

drown

drag you down

into those vast voracious mouths.

From deep within each silken heart

seven slender snaking tentacles

searching heads upraised

six anthers

hard on the lure

of the single female style

with its trident stigma

erupting through the lacerated hymen

the white-fringed cilia

of the backmost hollow

of each open flaring mouth.

Magnificent.

Imperative.

Unflinching gaze

of a merciless Peruvian goddess.

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