There’s emptiness in spring,
Hollow feelings that pieces of you are missing—
Pieces lost across such vast spans of time
where no one ventured out.

Shallow, your breath is stale. It quietly pushes your lungs
back and forth, a rhythm of blood pulses.
Behind you are winter coats and pricks of bone,
Empty shells for the tired and brittle.

Those promises you made under blankets,
that things will get better—
They lie dormant within your muscles,
memories of times when you were stronger.

There’s hunger in spring, a craving for lost things.
Slowly you begin to recover a sense of belonging,
A sense that the world is not such a solitary place.
Broken hearts like broken bones
begin to stich themselves back together.

There’s beauty in spring,
The ability to withstand flood, the skin to burn,
a freshly picked flower that knows its mortality.
Among shifting seas of green we fumble across the raw landscape,
collecting bits of ourselves like bread crumbs
that hungry birds did not locate,
trying to find our way home.

Winter Count

And so we begin our winter count.
A month of moons, so slowly she creeps.
Her replies are glacial.
Withering red, the hips of roses
Fall asleep in daytime.
The panes of windows begin to leak,
Letting her spiny fingers prick about the house.

I love her like the moon loves the stars—
Bright eyes in an empty room watching
My slow, fumbling waltz.
I hate her like the moon hates the sun,
Its brazen ego rising against my dim silhouette.

Slipping down hills,
Autumn’s mud cakes as cement to my shoes.
Purple leaves cling to emaciated branches,
Dark like bruises on my grandmother’s arms.
Tomatoes linger melancholy on the vine.

Uneasiness in this change of season,
In sleepless moments we churn.
The rooftops drip our apprehension.
Cupping our hands and running our sentences together,
We wake under the angry moon.
Soon the grass will be small, the wild roses will bloom.

For Trey

Spring, this brassy procession from Winter to Summer
lingers like early morning rain on branches.
Quivering leaves drip apprehension,
uneasiness in this change of season.

Pale and drawn, Spring’s first pipers shed their cloaks.
They tease us with announcements of warmer days ahead,
rediscovering their voice with the songbirds of sunrise.
April’s cruelty will soon become a distant memory.

Yet there are some of us who return to Winter’s well-worn path,
wearing lockets with memory neatly contained.
For we are still in mourning;
The Boy Who is in Love has died.

The Amorist, one who is in love or writes of love, feared the forgetfulness of others.
He was unable to leave the consequence of his life on paper.
Rather through suffering he worked each day for joy.
Through every moment of immeasurable pain he continued to be in love–
In love with winter’s silent snows and the swagger of spring,
in love with the swelter of summer and the cool nights of routine,
each furthering an unappeasable cancer through his bones.
He loved every day’s demise, even while knowing it brought him closer to the dead.

In these parades from beauty to bleakness, darkness to warmth,
it’s hard to believe he was afraid we’d forget–
Forget his tussle of his hair each time it re-grew.
Forget the warmth of his presence and the rogue curve of his smile.
Forget the sound of his pain, the ebb of his disease,
taking pieces while he continued his love of living.

When The Amorist passed onto the invisible beyond,
into the whitewash of painless days,
His wave goodbye came with a promise:
That death is not an ending.
That he’d returned to the expanse of the sea.
Through the churning of sand and in ripples against the shore,
he built sandcastles to hold our fear.

Our scars dissolve slowly with the each breath of morning,
drifting like threads across placid skies.
Across each season’s tease I find The Boy Who is in Love.
He grows under our feet, tickling our bare toes in the revival of spring.
He cools us as the shade trees of summer,
and holds our hearts in the dead of winter
as roots holding the earth in place.