Maura Payne
Belle of the Ball

Silk bluebells never open, forced or not,
always buds, these California ladies.
Far better from afar, like the foothills' dry tops
where slick crickets mate in a shadeless Hades.
Only long shots grant cool, purple quiescence.
Distance dissembles the views, flowers, girls:
our synthetic desert obsolescence.
Mustachioed, tenacious woolly blue curls,
slough off vaseline bulbs and lampshade scarves
while magic hour makes wormsmeat of us all.
Standing water kills the desert bloom. Varves
resurrect our stories. The belle of the ball
is sediment, silt, the wrinkled and rooted.
What is left is the beauty that denudes us.