Having come to hate spring, I wander down a street
of lamps and stand in a doorway emptied of rain.
Around the corner some butchers make their dull knives
sing. Song of mother. Song of meat. Picture soft apples
in a brown bag, a necklace of something’s teeth. Today,
no snow was falling but I looked up so many times I felt
my neck pulse. And stopping to simply tie my shoe meant
stopping to touch all the heart-shaped leaves of last year.
I wanted to stay there, inside that body, as I felt the snow
give way and my arms turn in and out of sync. While
I rust. While I blue. What keeps the small box beating
inside the breast, with only the gray? Any song would do.
A good place to lie down. Dusk or dawn. In place of snow
your garden drips coins into people’s palms. The hard ground
swells under my steps. I swallow what is tender. Raw.