(After Sonia Manzano)
Last frost past, I planted want
among the pitchpeas and crested squash
and Tentativity beets. I wanted what
the heavens forbade, because they forbade it.
I bore the bucket back and forth,
despite my sense that thirst
tested me most, not this obstinate seedwaste.
How could I not wish now
that she had loved me then
a little more, a little less?
I could have imagined the worst
had I understood better.
Of what use is one love unless
to anticipate a next?
Here. Hold to your ear this that I have held to mine.
Expect nothing. Except you hear a sea.
Why not name it creosote instead,
or chrysalis or incarnadine?
Think what declarations might follow,
what pledges prove possible.
I am cinders and whiplash.
Braced against what gust soever,
I assent to any season you assert.
Bless you, blood-red bird dead in snow.