False Spring

& who will you be when you leave the salt water behind?
when it drips off of you like a difficult year?
& what will you need to learn again?
will the restlessness wave over the pain?
will the sirens sink them both?

you carve the ransom note
out of clippings of photos from your old life,
you try to make the endings rhyme
but there’s no noticeable cadence of sugar
and there’s far too much epistrophe to lean on.

& will you call the fire department?
will you call the open wound that waits by the phone
to lick the salt off your dead skin?

& will you call anyone
when the world is less phones
& more traffic?

less spring
& more something else?

when I look at the palms
I’ve come to believe are my own
I can see the pruning start to smooth.


day 1 of #nationalpoetrymonth