Explaining Efflorescence

by Nina Bennett

The chemist:
Water seeps through the brick, dissolves salts,
evaporates, leaves a white crystalline
deposit on the surface.

The pathologist:
Redness, a rash, an eruption on the skin.

The botanist:
The gradual process of budding,
to flower out, blossoms unfolding.

The Frenchman:
A teenage girl’s blush, that first flush
of knowledge when a boy takes her hand,
the way she opens to his kiss.