Verse > Anthologies > Alfred Kreymborg, ed. > Others for 1919
Alfred Kreymborg, ed.  Others for 1919.  1920.
The Flatterers
By Marsden Hartley
THE CACTUS has grown young leaves
One and a half inches long
Since I came to live with it.
Its branches are like the claws of crabs
In a bed of seaweed.        5
Young rosehued shoots are coming
From the new green leaves.
I have divined their desires.
They would make huge boughs
Of soft green for you and me        10
To sit under,
And tell each other of ourselves
And of the world.
Outside the wall of this room,
The young tamerisk tree waves        15
Its feathery grey branches in the wind.
It has sent its coraldust blossoms to the ground.
They were like wafts of smoke from a tepee
In the morning just before the sun
Reaches the desert.        20
I sat one evening in the moonlight,
Under the tamerisk tree,
And listened to songs from the lips
Of a Mexican boy.
He told me afterward in broken English        25
The meaning of these songs.
I could have told him a richer meaning.
I could have told him of your presence
Inside the wall of this room.
I told him nothing of your presence.        30
It is enough the cactus and the tamerisk
are knowing,
And you, and I.

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