Notes on the After

By | 1 June 2022

– After Ada Limón

Not how it all wintered into scraps of half-inked
pear blossoms, nor how the pondwater never thawed
in time for the lotuses to proclaim their succulence
to the desperate Spring, it was the inscrutable loss of how
anything could begin afterwards which bowed me.
The clouds kept saying, there will come a day
when all of this blueness will be worth it.

The months when I couldn’t tell if what hurt
was some unbreakable obsidian barb, or the hurt
of a growing, living thing. And it seemed almost pitiful,
how the frost clasped so closely to the birches;
sleeves of snow stitching the vastest grief
-coat ever conceived, entire fields suffocated
in a plead to be held. Only to be met by the soft
shock of winter unhinged at the speed it arrived, the music of held
breath returning from the scentless aftermath, wet hearts awakening
behind Spanish mosses, entire sunlit temples
of snail-shells unclouded along the highways.
How it was never about survival, but becoming
the patient rot beneath it all. Like the first of the fuchsias
now unfurling their infant flames on this patched,
uncertain earth; all of it rising for what we can’t name.

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