🔒 Treatise on Love

1. The Empire of Flora A tossing garden in a rising wind, an air of expectation. And Claire tutoring me on the landscaping: pagoda plants, crotons, a kind of blue ginger; over there, African lilies, bellwethers of spring. When she points me to liriopes, I expect the terrace to be inhabited by a feminine miniature, nymph or naiad out of ancient Greece who makes a cushy, scented bed for fauns, or Jupiter Himself. I’ve forgotten that “cerulean Liriope” is the mother of Narcissus. The Empire of Flora, Claire says, is a disquieting kaleidoscope: limbs, and hair, and faces of those that love discountenances. For—as if I needed reminding— immoderate love comes to no good. Claire is wearing a crisp white shirt. To garden? … Ah, she’s rewinding her lecture on Poussin, who could take the measure of our hurt and scale it to the distance between roiling heavens and rock

Thank you for reading!

To continue reading this article you must be a subscriber and be logged in to this site. If you already have a subscription, please log in now.