restricted access The Snail in the Marigold
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27 The Snail in the Marigold I watched, when planting marigolds, Their colors all afire, A gorged snail suck amid the folds, Unfurling with desire— Its slick and gleaming trail of pleasure Oozing out behind; Its rapturous head in worldly leisure, Oblivious, petal-blind. The broken bud looked jubilant, Enravished, vibrant, real, Infusing animal and plant With sybaritic zeal. This seeming drive to be consumed As wood lit in a stove, Must be the lavishest, most doomed, And pure of earthly love. Come, celebrate the appetite No science can control, The wild, ingenious, slippery blight That incarnates the soul. ...


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