A Hand’s Span of Whiteness

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Her body is not so white as
anemony petals nor so smooth—nor
so remote a thing. It is a field
of the wild carrot taking
the field by force; the grass
does not raise above it.
Here is no question of whiteness,
white as can be, with a purple mole
at the center of each flower.
Each flower is a hand’s span
of her whiteness. Wherever
his hand has lain there is
a tiny purple blemish. Each part
is a blossom under his touch
to which the fibres of her being
stem one by one, each to its end,
until the whole field is a
white desire, empty, a single stem,
a cluster, flower by flower,
a pious wish to whiteness gone over—
or nothing.
~William Carlos Williams “Queen-Anne’s Lace”
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Sometimes all I know
is my own bleeding central blemish,
my impure core.
What else is there in this July snowstorm
of complex compound blooms,
forming a protective corona around
an imperfect purple heart in the middle?
Only when
the light glows from the Son
can the rest of me
wholly illuminate.
~EPG
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5 thoughts on “A Hand’s Span of Whiteness

  1. This is incredibly beautiful — mystical — and sensuous. The chosen pics go perfectly with Williams’ verse and with your comment, Emily. For just a moment, I was reminded of certain sections of Solomon’s Song of Songs.

    Like

  2. Oh wow! This is one of my favorite posts (even though that is hard to choose). These were amazing photos. The first one looks like popcorn kernels! Just incredible and lovely poem and writing…. lovely… just made my day!!!! You captured the Queen!

    Like

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