Outlined in fine, black ink
where white identifies with empty,
I am the artichoke in the garden
asking to be transformed
as light through a crystal prism
diffusing colors into those bloodless places.

Limned from memory
waiting to be born,
the flower bolder and more robust
than the finished product.
I have been a bounty of deep lush colors;
pure indigo, violet, orange, yellow.

I am the artichoke in the garden
when the flower has faded.
Covered by armored plate, each pulled off
year by year,
one by one,
exposing at last
my spiny heart,
scraped away,
thrown away,
memories in a pile of inedible roughage
until, searched for and found,
my center can be savored
by those with impeccable taste.