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Blooms from Bogotá

Chameleons have nervous breakdowns here
in all this endless color: purple, pink, vermilion

on Fannin Street in Houston. Since she moved
here, Lara has loved fondling, consuming such

loveliness. Every season has its own
scent, color and shape, hue and variety.

But today when her plane lands in Bogotá
she sees plastic bubbles blistering earth.

Football-field-size hot-houses. Millions.
Her Fannin Street flowers multiply perfectly

grown with chemicals in Columbia. Sown near
airports for easy export. But Ana Gomez's

South American fingers, toes, have turned black
as any coal miner's lungs. Irene Gomalez

vomits for days when they spray right
in her face. Maria Lopez's child has only

half of its head. It's said: wells are poisoned.
Mirror-like streams are soiled as soil is,

chastity ripped. Women workers take
to their beds. So blooms must grow without

them picking soon -- the roses, the mums,
the glads. Yet Lara's home city, Houston,

craves beauty and brilliance as ever, and buying.
Blind millions will still stop, be seized, and shop.

Blue, Candled in January Sun

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