This Year’s Color

Radiant orchid
throughout each season—even now
when rain can’t quite

wash away the most hardened dirty
snow. Somewhere the temperature

drops just enough at night
before a warming settles in. Somewhere
someone sings,

“California Dreamin’”
to coax things along. Someone

somewhere is still searching
for a word that rhymes
with orange.

Ice in Formation

It could be a horse’s white
mane that hangs

over an outdoor
sconce. Week after

week, it doesn’t melt. Is it
permanent? She hears

a recording of her own
voice and wonders who

might want to curl up
inside it till it thaws.

Air-Bridged Harbor*

“Whose flame/Is the imprisoned lightning.”
—Emma Lazarus, from “The New Colossus”

In a slow return to daylight after hours, she winks
at March and flirts

with her own promises to wake up
a tiny piece

of dirt. Hers is an impassioned lightning
that could strike

even now—before spring.

* also from Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus.”

Metal Grin

In an era when buildings opened
with zippers, she fastens her life together
with safety pins. Then she hears them drop

one by one on dried mud. Inside
gets entangled in the outside—a blur
with or without corrective lenses. Pricked fingers,

the aromatics of March come next.

Before the Cruel One

Who waits
for the river
to rise rises 

above reds
to reach clay
tinted sky. Who 

runs from dry
spells into March
gusts and shifted 

light shifts
with each new

This window
then that becomes

highlights for whomever