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Makahiya

They call her touch-me-not.

Bashful mimosa, sleeping grass,
tickle-me. In Costa Rica,
Dormilona, sleepyhead, or
Tonga’s false death mateloi, or
lojjaboti, the shy virgin in far Bengal.

In the Caribbean, they’ve named her
moriviví. I died, I lived,
open under the sun
until the first caress
and then she hides away.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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