I crouch on the stoop blowing nicotine
over your bent head. You pull crab grass one blade
at a time to save the odd-leaved sprigs
that might be something you planted.
Most things die out here, beside the weeds.
Last summer the aloe reddened
and curled in days, water sucked
from its pores. Now, the rain-thick ground
looks almost like real dirt. Red flowers pucker
from one finger of sage. Too urban
for plants out of pots, I made my garden
on a shelf: basil tall as a stretched hanger,
catnip seeded too close grown wild as hair.
I burrow my fingers in loosened soil, say I’m trying
to get in touch with the earth. You say you are the earth.
I flick my smoke into the bag of weeds, dirt tangled
in their roots. If I can’t return to the garden
across razor-edged grass, I’ll touch you instead.