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The Fledgling Crocus

Soon when I look out the window

there will be light, nothing but.

In Hanover they’ve detected a weakness.

Thanks a lot, Hanover. This house

is 55 degrees Fahrenheit and frankly

growing colder. Maybe you have

noticed how the saucers of milk

are considering icicles, I think

for the very first time. Who can

resist the call of the inchworm?

Do not even try. Get down

on the floor and get as lucky

as you’d like. Today is the

Holiday of Ill-Begotten Goods.

I stole my pen I stole my land tract.

I am living on someone else’s principles.

Hanover, we have greatness

in abundance, we have shivers,

we have fleas. Nest after nest

is abandoned and months from now

when bombed-out children decide

to talk they will each start by reciting

My mother’s gorgeous hair…

It is all there. In the short books

of the future. What is here, in this

room, is a small lamp and a vase

that needs changing. Is cubic

space interfered with by hi,

my human form. And there are

other rooms with other forms,

there is a future not prone

to contain me. I am the hundred

and third last telegram. I am sent

with a small degree of urgency stop

please retrieve me from the historic

Empress Hotel. Hanover, let’s say

that reading is like grave-rubbing

and the charcoal is your eyes.

Let’s say all the things to each other

as if we were two friends chatting

while waiting for the bus. And night

arrives but the bus does not, and a frost

comes on with a mind to disrupt

the fledgling crocus. What can

we spooks do but say thank you—

for our coins and for our progress,

for the kind genetic mutation

that dressed us all those years ago

in warm yet lightweight fur.

Award-winning poet of 'The Trees The Trees'. Author of 'The Crying Book'. Published in The New Yorker, Poetry, & more. Former fellow at Emory.