For Erika. Lament for Spring.

I gotta go way back /When I go back/gary snyder and diPrima/ $21 monthly grocery bills/the year i got outta college/37 this week & still nothin/but a poet’s heart~

All but one of the strawberry plants have died
the chamomile is turning brown
it is winter & I don’t know what to do
w all this sun.  A moon passes, spotted
opulence, tide rush of spring.  Bird cries
in complete ascent, oh her tongue-flicked
breath.  Here, there never were bare branches
or earth-freeze, then
spongy, wet.

Men come across the street
& take a tall tree down.  It is March,
my skin already summer brown. Wantonness
got me an empty pack of cigarettes.
A day at a time goes in hours some times
or ten minute increments–so far I avoid
a second pack.  It has been one month
since I put down the words.
Every time, despite the understanding
it is harder to make the return.

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