It’s April. I want to build up a dozen white columns and break them again. The stems of the tulips look like fingerbones to me: spring, a violent dream, shudders through all things. I feel like one of those waylaid on the road by Siris the bandit, a giant who tied his victims between two bent trees and let them go again. Flung on the curved shoulders of winds, my limbs, like red standards, will fly into many countries; where the drops of my blood fall, a flower with a new name will rise and open its gaping mouth. Spring, feeding on blood and dust, will continue its lurid chorus: adding day after overgrown day, like a handful of seeds that brims, lapping up the wrist, falling, piling, trembling.
April 9 (On Earth as an Arboretum,
Oh the Convenience)
Today the wind made a hail of petals all down the street. You watch the segmented flowers fall cup-down to the earth. You wish, as always, that there were labels on each of the trees, that the whole earth was an arboretum. You would also like to see labels on everyone’s foreheads: Ben Jones, born 1980, shivers when he passes big dogs and open door- ways. Rashid Hamaowi, b. 1975, still remembers her.
You wonder what yours would say. You wonder if, by slimming the kern of each line, you could make yourself disappear. Limb by limb, like a rain of blossoms, you would drop to the pavement, settle in a whorl, drown a little, taken by an impulse of wind into the water.
The days pass like geese driven by a gale. You want to build your life like an almanac: ripe wheat, shifting moons, tidy black ledgers of ongoing predictions.
Talia Lavin is a longtime poet and less-time journalist currently working as a fact checker at the New Yorker.
Issue Six is our second in print, and features work by Cristina de Middel, Afabwaje Kurian, Chitra Ganesh, Jayson Musson, and more! Issue Six also comes with limited edition supplements:All of Them Witches, a 32-page risograph-printed comic re-interpreting 1950s Harvey Horror comics, plus volume four of our comics section, Early Edition!