Are You the Spring?
I shall ignore your heart and touch your ears. 
Your life might be a gigantic unopened box to me, 
But I shall leave nothing of your body unopened. 

I shall drink each bead of sweat and know 
From how it tasted from where it came. 
But to you I shall leave the why. 

I shall trace my path from arm to leg by the instincts of a man 
    living where he has always lived, 
Navagating by a sudden softness of the earth, 
Or a special smell, at this place, each November. 

I should feed you, bath you, clothe you -
I should wrap you in a blanket and pickle you, 
Then unwrap you naked to the sun and bring you brown again. 

I shall watch you bite, taste and swallow foods, 
Follow their journey as they are palpatated in your throat downwards, 
Then cradled in a sack just beneath your navel. 

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Which of these now makes you sleepy? 
And which makes you warm? 
Which fills you for awhile and makes your belly soft and round? 
And which passes like cool fruit infusing effortlessly, 
Its bright colors and sweet scented liquids 
Leaving nothing but refeshing joy?

What colors make you happy? 
What signs in the weather make you sad? 
Will the greyness of the approaching storm grey too the color of your eyes? 
What will radiate from your eyelids when they catch the small red rays of morning? 

Shall you be carried on the tops of forests - my green canopy? 
Shall you spread out fetid on the forest floor - my bed of ferns? 


Are you liquid, rumbling white, massive blue lit only at your 
    shallowest by filtered, powerless light? 
Does your chest rise at the gentle tugging of the moon, and your 
    hips sway in the diurnal rhythm of the earth's ceaseless revolutions? 
Full of salt and sand, are you ever ready to take, cover and suffocate in your depths. 
Are you my never-ending undulating ocean? 

Are you spring that breaks forth in a watery rush, 
Flowing down mountains in makeshift streams? 
Serendipitous in your alliances, 
Joining with yourself whomever you meet? 

Do you hold within yourself the promise of the end of shimmering ice caverns, 
More beautiful now in their liquid patina,
    seeping away to Grant's Brook, over Tanner's Falls, 
To join where minnows spawn the great-lengthed Connecticut river, 
Than they were last winter when all I sought was the yellow fire's glow? 
Are you the vessel of re-awakened life, 
The surging forth of the scream three months frozen in the tree trunk's dormant throat? 
Are you the incredible straightness of the north woods' wilds? 
The crispness of its rocks' fissures? 

Have you formed the earth's timeless body through eons of rapture 
    while captured each year by your indissolvable three month embrace? 

Are you the hand of frost, 
That all winter grew its fingers downwards? 
Measuring the length of the season by the depth of your reach?

Only in spring was I amazed by your grip. 
When you took the meadow and heaved it skywards,
    like a repressed pregnancy suddenly released, 
Letting ready, wind-blown vagrants seminate the thick menstrual fragrance 
Of last automn's bright deceased. 

1990 Lyme, New Hampshire