The organism’s function

By Marianne Koluda Hansen

my hideous lizards
provide fertilizer
for the roses
and the thyme I have
gotten to bloom
in your sewers

so next time you break your
ankle and wrist and collarbone
because you trip
over my clogs
that I left lying out
in the middle of the floor
remember then that you love me
precisely for my
breathless eagerness and spontaneity
and ability to forget
everything around me

and next time I ask you
to shop for a cheap dinner
and you come home with
T-bone steaks
and Danish tomatoes
and red wine (appelation controlée)
and burnt figs in cognac and
snails in garlic butter
then I will remember that
your outrageous extravagance
is a function of your
sparkling optimism that I
could not live without
when the fear of the future oppresses me
and makes me want to
hoard things

you are a necessary
mid-summer night’s dream
by which I warm myself
when the cold april rain has
flattened my daffodils

and I have realized that
if I spray your
mosquito larvae
I will also kill a songbird
that I have fallen in love with

By Marianne Koluda Hansen ©1980 “Organismens funktion”
Translated by Michael Goldman
Originally published in Mantis, 2015