A Deliberate Spring
Yes, the lavender has withered
in its vase. The water curdles, stinking
like something sifted through death
twice. I open a window to let out the air.
A flock of birdshot scatters beyond the sill,
strikes nothing, falls
like coins, silver and sparked like a god
filling me with what I had begged for again
and again in my endless hour,
the salt of its neck stinging my tongue.
Forgive me my illusions—I have been
in my bones too long. My death
lingers in the door locks; leaving shadows
in my bed sheets, at the bottom of bathwater,
in the mirrors made in glass when sunlight strikes
just so. To the doubtful,
know that I have tried—count the scissors in their drawers,
note how undulled they are by blood.
The thrashers that gathered in the dogwood have gone
from their branches, startled into a swarm.
I watch the weather unfold into a loose blue
body that fills the window to near overflow.
Stay with me a while longer.
Emilie Yardley-Hodges is an Atlanta-born writer living in Chicago. She holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, and has a great fondness for birds.