Like lilacs out of the dead land


This poem is for you, hurting; for you, laughing; for you, forgot. For the bitter asphalt. For the old green of faded Easter grass and the new green of a cold clear day. For the ceaselessness of ceiling fans. For missed chances and weak coffee. This is the poem of a thousand crumbled stars, a thousand sweaty fingers. Of mascara on the pillowcase. Of the words to old songs you never knew. Of the heron-walkers. Of brick pores and blown dandelions and denim. It is the crack of old skin, the give of bone, side-eyed and river-wound, wounded. The story told in cut wood, the stain left by a Sunday mug. This is why we cry out of nowhere, light candles to Saint Jude, dance in living rooms by the flatscreen glow, lie awake in our darks, text drunk, forgive. Why we bottom up, why we jump, why we drown. This is why we breathe, why we keep breathing. This is breath. This is April.

When it sets in

even sunshine can be bitter, cold
as we stretch and smile,
bundled in boots and memories, strung
out like Christmas lights in February
swaying in a fragile air.
There is a quiet intensity
to every breath blown;
hunkered in our heartbeats, we
sip only warm things, tasting
the pulse of a new year.