the dead bloom, planted so
long ago. You never expected
much from them. It’s as if
with everything exploding, they
want you to marvel at them
too. The beauty of the plum
tree pales, “short-lived compared
to us.” “Yes, they are lovely,”
another sighs, “but remember how
I brushed your hair, washed it
in lemon juice. Doesn’t that
count?” Sometimes the dead are
too loud, their fingers clutching,
hissing, “What do you remember
of the way I used to look?”
One newly dead reminds me of
the lilacs he left in a blue
Persian jar. The dead are sure
you would like to see them
and you would but you’re not
sure how much to say, bring
the green emerald sweater you
bought too big for one to wear.
The new blossoms must want
to make the dead tell you what
they hadn’t. They’ve been still
all winter, their season. I want
to just watch new life unfolding,
the mourning dove on her
nest, the wild plum, camellia.
But when I try to sleep with the
window open, the night bird
in blue wind, it’s always my
mother’s voice, “Honey, why
haven’t you called?”