In its flaky brown envelope, a bulb carries a message. After the gray snowmelt reveals all the winter’s dog shit, this tulip is an innocent red, unlike the flags of my/? country that likes to open the veins of its+ people, unlike the neckerchiefs choking the pioneers. The roots of its petals are black as dirt, shiny as a raven’s wing, except it is stuck here. Desperate quivering stamens, sticky stigma’s waxy yellow, born and dying from the same fist. There is someone inside me, watching this tulip bloom.