The Aeonium Arboreum, or Black Rose Aeonium


has the beauty of licorice

after a night of pale tea,

is a rosette without hope

of pink or red: its petals

lightless black as the inside

of the throat. I’ve heard

aeonium can reproduce

ad infinitum—the greek “aeonium”

for endless, “arboreum”

for houseleek, its stem

being of true vegetal

appearance, though more bone

than leek with its look of unboilable

sternness. It is a stem not elegant,

not weepy, that holds complete

its cache of petals cleaving

to their infinity of no-scent.

An absence all-in-all, fresher than mint

or a naked tabletop. Fresher

than the thought of children,

years prior

to a desire for them.

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