Laura Isabela Amsel


after Catherine Pierce

Don’t make me beg you, April.
God knows my knees ache
enough already. See me groveling
in March mud, raving,
stabbing spade holes
with cold fingers, jabbing
zinnia seeds in each. I know.
It’s not even Easter.
But can’t you prove it sooner?
Catch me in your blooming,
breeze me in amnesia.
My bedrock ledge was fickle
shale and sandstone. Look at me.
I’m slipping. Awe me.
Numb me wonderstruck.
Blind me in a flash of lavender
from the leafless tulip tree;
dress the dogwoods up
in white and honeybees; cover all
the redbud trees in pink.
Unfurl the sweet pea tendrils;
uncurl ferns, maidenhair
and cinnamon. Spike the thistle
thorny. Hurry, burst
their purple buds wide open;
un-drab everything that’s brown.
Frolic cottontails and foxes;
frond the fennel; wake the mayapple.
In buckeye red, warm cold shadows.
For William, ring all the oaks
in golden daffodils. Fill the woods
with clack and click and clatter—
dome-shelled turtles, copulating.
Send me a grass green
snake to catch; let it sniff me
with its flicking tongue;
vine itself around my thumb.
Tell the Luna moth it’s time
to lay her eggs. Let her larva hatch.
Let them scrape the sweet gum
leaves to lace. April, a single sip,
a gulp, a guzzle, a frothing glassful,
your sap-green bottle, entire.
Let me drink you empty.
Then rouse me a rabble
of hairstreak butterflies—those
gray, erratic flyers. Gather them
beneath the pecan tree;
spiral-dance them like ashes
from a fire. Blow them blue-ward,
sun-ward, moon-ward.
Pry open all the buttercups
and pollen dust my nose.
April, get me drunk enough
on perfume to forget.