Spring wets us with longing.
Pale bloom, green fuzz. Moss
growing in the cracks between
everything. Wearing the rain
on our faces. This, right now,
is the best part: the opening.
Thin spray of pink light,
I’m opening with you.
I’m dew and I’m honey on bread
and I’m singing along to the words
I remember and humming those
I long ago forgot. Nobody grieves
the winter. Just for today nobody
buries their face in their hands.
Omens slick the streets, clog
the gutters and I wear
an animal’s small heartbeat.
I’m spring breaking, spring
broken. Milk froths like pearls
in this weather. Foals are born
with cloudy eyes. Some spring
I am laying my dead to rest,
some spring I am hungover,
always, every year I am lavender
tinged and holy. What’s fleeting
about this? It comes again.
Over the river and through,
not around, the woods. This story
is about a false grandmother.
This story ends with flesh cleaved
from bone, or maybe it begins
like that. The girl dies or she lives
or she’s in the process of coming
out of the wolf’s stomach,
escaping the winter, a predator
or her mother’s house. To the mirror
I say, What big teeth you have.
A hunter arrives and I eat him too.
We enjoy our relationship
to other tales. Let’s tell it again:
A sleeping wolf. A belly full
of stone. This time it’s about
being transformed into an adult
woman, which always means
eating blood and flesh. I hope
the hunter gets lost in the woods
in this retelling. That the wolf
feels at last like himself
in his new clothes. I’d rather stay
in a liminal state, if that’s okay
with the children. This time I will
be my own animal bridegroom.
Past sadness there is something else.
In the cafe with the light slanting and the door
open, I said I was having nostalgia for the future.
She said, You mean, like, hope? And I said,
No, not that, but a real sense memory
of something that hasn’t happened yet.
That’s good, she said. You should write about that.
But since I cannot explain the magnolia in bloom
no matter how long I stare at it, I just keep
staring. Wet rosemary flower, bee-stung, spider
bitten, weeping cherry—
(It’s easier to be yourself
once you realize that you are everything else, too)
—pink blossom rain, and
the people walking past without meeting my eyes
while their dogs turn their smiling heads
all the way around. How they know a four-legged
creature even when it’s standing up straight.
How when the wind blows the treetops it creates
the illusion of motion, makes us feel as if
we are on our way somewhere. It’s not so
much about hearing the tree fall in the forest
as it is about feeling the ground shake. Don’t
tell me when we arrive. Better to underexplain.
Better to waft than walk in a straight line.
Look closer and you’ll see that even this
is breathing. It’s pointless to try to transcend
the body; instead, transcend everything else.
A poem, too, is something green. We don’t stay
tethered to the earth by our histories, so
there is no need to memorize your own, no
need to keep count. We crawl out of each other
and die in birdsong, on afternoons. And when
the rain begins, we smell it before we get wet,
and for a moment we remember other brief
lives. Remember? You were a child too small
for a name, and I was foam on some green
sea. Remember? It is okay if you don’t.