SPRING: ( to move or jump suddenly or rapidly upward or forward: spring 2 I sprang out of bed | figurative : they sprang to her defense. • move rapidly or suddenly from a constrained position by or as if by the action of a spring…..)
There is something to be said about sweeping Winter away in order to make room for the births.
Three months of trees practicing their nudist pose. Branches growing skinny from shiver. Humans housing all the layers they own from hoarded cotton, wool and synthetic threads.
Soon, we can remain outside longer than just to get from one building to another. Soon, we can dust off picnic baskets and unfold tank tops. Soon, we can remember what it is like to sweat because the sun is squeezing its gaze against your bare shoulders.
It happens like an unexpected tap on shoulder. You are walking or riding your bike. You are engaging with the outdoors in some way. Perhaps your jacket is unzipped. You left your scarf at home. If you are wearing a hat, it is only because your hair got lost and has been traveling in opposite directions, not to keep your scalp warm. You are lost in the language of clouds that you are either humming toward or meditating with.
You feel a drop. Maybe two. It’s Brooklyn, so that drop could be the wind pushing someone else’s spit against you or a pigeon excreting its breakfast onto you.
Then the drops turn into many and more and faster and harder and there are no more individual clouds. You look up and the sky has unzipped just like your jacket. You are about to turn mad until you realize how beautiful all this is.
This rain becomes your lover for the afternoon, showering your skin with so many kisses, that you grow giddy. Your clothes become a new layer of flesh. You skip, splashing in puddles, pick up leaves that bathe in this spring moisture. Your bones want to push out from beneath its protective layer and play along. This is when you start to dance. Maybe sing. Definitely holler toward the peeking moon.
In the summer, all of this will get even louder and hotter and this free bath will be even better.
For now, this is spring and this rain is meant to wash winter’s footprints away. It is meant to summon the flowers, planted months earlier. Reawaken the trees and hibernating animals and humans.
This air is confusing. Outside, trees convulse like belly dancers without a belly. Tiny bits of life form on their branches and peek out from well-packed soil, flirting with this chilled air. They are calling this spring, but you are trapped beneath layers of snow and my hands have taken on a skin tone of chapped strawberry blond.
There are deadlines and dates and bleached scraps of language, tie-dyed into genderless terms of endearment. I think I may have found my noun.
I have put on weight, Rebel. It is shaped like Brooklyn, kind of bloated and curved, without angles and crowded. Winter fed me three affairs and two nondescript encounters and spring has already been titled: ellipses…………..
Don’t you want to know how this will end. Or what if this time, there is no period, but simply a line of dots dangling against burnt fingertips and I know what you are thinking: nothing lasts forever. But what would happen if something did.
Breathe. For twenty-one days, you proved to your body you could go without. You gave up ritual of caffeinated steamed lover pressed into french kiss glass with almond or oat milk stirred flesh. Throat mourned for days into weeks, yearning for that feeling of burnt tongue because some things are too hot for patience.
For twenty-one days, you went without fermented drunk. Poem’d in bars with breath of seltzer and lime. Did shots of question marks and annotations, flirting with humans housing whiskey within the curves of their cavities. You realized booze is not always necessary to loosen your limbs and fall in lust.
For twenty-one days, you dug fork into enough chick peas to refer to skin tone as legume’d. There was no cheese or bread or animals. Turned the inside of your body into an ocean of Brooklyn water.
For twenty-one days, you reflected. Forgave. Told the ghosts to gather elsewhere. Let in new ones. Let go of patterns of fear. Forgave your secrets and spoke them out loud. Threw away runners; recognized the beauty in remaining with an/other. Found new entrances to your body. Changed the locks and swept up the parade of winter outside your bones to prepare for the roots of spring to expand.
They were there all along. These roots. These birds panelling the sidewalks like decorative creatures flying in and out of the NYC trash heaps. These feelings of something new brewing.
Winter is long gone, even though it refuses to exit stage left, so it remains like a stalker, fondling the wind that fondles you. Even so, it is Spring now. Windows unlatch and humans disrobe.
Head to the tree where you wept last spring, letting twelve pounds of salt exit from your body that you fed to the ducks that they leaked into the lake.
Carve your name into the sunlight.
Kiss the one who arrived on a Sunday and smells like every book you ever fell in love with because each chapter revealed itself in increments and the glossary practically impregnated your mind.
Eat something from the ground. Do not wash it. Risk a tickled throat from some New York soil.
Dig nude toes into the bark of that tree. Tell it your dirtiest secrets; it will hide its giggles in each knot of wood. Sing out loud even if others surround you. Do not apologize for being off key or mispronouncing instrumentation.
Take something away from here to last you until summer. Let it come apart in your pocket. Give it permission to become something else….
No one ever notices how many shades of red there are. We see a color and call it blue or yellow. But never Pacific Ocean blue or jaundice yellow. What about Malbec red or the shade of red one gets after being kissed for so long that lips have jumped inside another permanently.
We have been inside a dark room for three months. Winter has kept us hidden beneath grey and fog, but there is a flicker of light alerting us that spring is arriving. And so is love. And so is a renewal of body.
With Spring, notice the exchange of root for shiver. Exposed bodies, which have been hidden beneath scarves and chapped skin for so long. Collarbones and ears, no longer hidden beneath woolen toques.
When the weather warms, cars will honk at the ones who are walking, who stop at every red light to kiss. The sky will grow jealous and begin to rain on them.
When the weather warms, we will title the earth friendly again. We will invite it out for baseball catches and naps beneath its sun.
The days are getting longer and everything is coming out of hiding again. Like life. Like love.
Its bark is syntactical. You may analyze the rule of its tongue but trees can be sharp and clingy. What it means to psychoanalyze texture and the ground up nerves of body against branches against leaf energy against green and brown and sap and lover’s carve. Birds build hammocks called nests in nooks shadowed by the sun that begs for attention. From far away, these boughs could be hardened strands of hair, wild offshoots of oak or dogwood. Trees are unafraid of commitments; either evergreen or deciduous but even in its dormancy it is alive storing carbon in its pockets. Climb its forest. Babysit the sapling birthed beside it. Measure its love by the ornamentation of its taproot. Wrap limbs around its width and scratch out its cinnamon. When there is nectar the bees come. Their hum is instrumental and symphonic. Rest where the the animals burrow their beaks. Call this home or earth’s wooden sculptures. You are no longer alone.
“The music is like a passport and how to make a donut so lonely it forgets its fried birth and your fingers may find mine like a fixed-gear contraption but Saturday is a mourning of leftovers and–”
I’m leaving you.
“Your feet are curdled, crossed at ankles and I like that my tongue memorized your teeth ridges but here in Brooklyn, an audience of newspapers and muffin crumbs touch us with their blinks, skimming the salt drips on my face.”
Your temperature is hungry and I am without.
“What can friends become once limbs grow like mattresses and sleep stretches into inter-locked dreams but you’ve … you’ve–”
Insomniac’d and sleep walked on fire escapes just to–
“Escape recycled napkins splintering my face and all these tears happen because of your puncture…this Spring is scratched and wretched from the translation of your spit gone dry for me.”
Let’s stage a puncture.
“I climbed billboards to see your point of view and then I jumped.”
The shadow of your blood echoes against my ribcage.
“My sadness is contagious to the ones who listen but you are immune.”
How about we grow our wrists until August to see what shapes we become and compare.
“Or we can tie our organs to each other because tangling so often leads to–”
Fur from underground tells us to remove our wool, our zippered necks, our hibernation. Ignore the ice seizured from the sky. Pretend not to see the purple clouds, twitching out poor circulation.
This is Spring.
Notice the root vegetables. The twirl of wheels against iron between bodies called bike ride. Notice the drip of petals falling then flying across city blocks. Notice exposure of ankles and slippery shoulders.
The roots are just toes pressing in to the autumn and cold that hide not so far beneath. Keep your fleece away. The night still shivers but pretend it into a whisper. There is green out there and it peeks out from the grey. Tulips like turmeric can aid away the wounds of winter. Call out the goose bumps on forearm as inspired breaths. The moon awaits your nude.
“Tell me again what it is like,” she said with eyes like Pluto: distant, cold, removed.
“Kind of like what I imagine Winter to be. My limbs were icicles buried into her. Enough time pressed against each other and there was melt. We remained on her wet sheets, which reminded me more of Spring because they were romantically yellow.”
“But. But tell me what shivered. Tell me about frostbite. Don’t pretend pain did not exist just because parts of you disappeared.”
“How about this. There is something magnificent about understanding the strength of my skin when it exists against another. Her tongue proposed marriage inside me.”
“You don’t believe in that, I thought.”
“Belief is like religion. Sometimes it just happens on holidays. Every other day I am an atheist, but when our bodies are making Winter, I am reverent.”