after the police report, i walked home
over frost-killed camellia blooms,
thick and meaty underfoot
like severed red hands. this isn’t a story
about all that. i’m thinking instead
about cornwall, the village and the old house,
the walled orchard with its apple trees
bent like women who curl their bodies
against the places they are hurting.
early, early spring. clouds breaking
around slivers of blue, knife-slit windows
to some new country. camellias
wherever there was space and light,
fragile arms flung out to the raw mercies
of the season. bloom, i whispered,
wind-chapped and shivering,
holding in my chest a stone
the size of my fist. god damn you.
hills rolled away into the road.
rain shook from the sky without pause
and without reason, striking
against buds that fattened nevertheless
with the audacity of living things.