I’m starting to feel it.
It’s in the warm air, air that’s warm without sun, warm in the mist,
in the park where the onion grass pokes out like awkward new hairs on a teen’s body,
and my dog is dragging her feet, sniffing everything
as if she’s never been here before, stopping to tree a bird,
rolling in some decomposing new scent.
It’s in my eyes processing new contrasts: yellow forsythia against a stone wall, hyacinths on brown paths, cherry blossoms whose pink petals decorate the blue hood of my car like a party, flying off when I drive.
It’s Blossom Dearie, Tristan Prettyman, Bob Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell”—anything that sounds like a window’s open.
It’s Earth Day, Chaucer’s: “Whan that April…”
It’s an NPR investigative report on desire, when Rachel Martin says, “this may not be suitable for young listeners,” and I turn to my two 13-year old passengers, whose nods say, “yes, let’s keep listening.”
It’s boots without socks, my hair curling again, half-dried.
It’s a shadow on the patio at 5AM, cast by a lawn chair and the moon over my left shoulder.
It’s telling my husband, as I wipe spots of last night’s red wine and this morning’s coffee off the counter, “let’s have more sex this week.”
It’s hearing about more than 300 dead in Sri Lanka, innocent people, due to religious extremism, and wondering, again, why we don’t teach religious studies in schools: why don’t we highlight different faiths—and also their intersections?
It’s pondering: if I do one good thing on this earth before I die, will it be working toward that?
It’s sitting in a fancy café in a fancy town, eating toast, avocado, and eggs.
We all eat those foods. We slept under the same moon last night.
It’s thinking: spring is the time for life, not death—creation, not destruction.
It’s roughly year later, and spring is the office clean that unearthed this poem.
This spring has death: 1,000 yesterday.
I can’t write about spring in the same way;
I can’t feel the plants.
Which is ironic, because, while I’ve always been like them, now I understand
I’m vulnerable, susceptible to being crushed—by a frost, by disease—
so like the shoots that today’s noon encouraged: peonies and bleeding hearts, plants with thick purple stems that push, uncertainly, toward the light.