He planted the devil's claw
for our first-year anniversary.
He planted it with beans
and an indigo seedling.
Together they sucked up all the water
in the bed. The toddler
habanero had no chance. Neither
did the rosemary, which died
in a week of days so hot
we gave up, temporarily, and became
secretaries of ourselves. I can't sleep.
Neither can I. The anniversary
went. I gave him a knife. He sawed
the bhut jolokia down again to let
the leaves come out. He doesn't know
how he will use the indigo.
The devil's claw is also called the wait-a-minute
me stops by the side of the path. He promises
me collections of things made, things grown, he finally
made the compost work this year, all those scraps
and small deaths, all those discarded outer rinds,
combining to richness in a bucket
Sarah Kortemeier holds an MFA from the University of Arizona; she currently serves as a library assistant at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Ploughshares and Folio, and she was a finalist in the second annual Tennessee Williams Festival Poetry Contest. She lives in Tucson.