In the last days of January, paper-whites
bloom extravagantly. Plum blossoms
unfold on leafless branches, and still
there’s this confusion of roses reaching,
leaves dropping, stalks bleeding buds.
Thunder over fire, fire inside ice.
It’s easy to feel outrage at this blithe dismissal
of winter’s pristine limits, but these green shoots
pushing black earth, these scattered stems
and branches, these tender buds, arrive
too politely for frailty or remorse.
In the future, no one will ask about years
spent living under water, upside down, beneath
smoke-stained skies. No one will question
the ferocity of spring or why summer
succumbed to breathlessness.
No one will answer as the moon slides gold
on broken concrete and fills the black hole
of a once-upon-a-time street. Not with words
we speak today anyway. Mountains will hear
the sea breathe. Insects will sing to stars.
* * * *