Summer Wars

by Renwick Berchild

The dust of Summer,
rubber, barbecue and
mT air that I beg might bring the rains, Neruda’s
gold ghost, Las Manos del Dia under an umbrella say
do I comprehend, how much it may mean
to meet a grizzled old tree
hale and green
after the many deaths
of teething Winter,
hollow poems
no justice
they cannot say,
Longfellow is out walking
my cautious light around the park.

Tumbling flowers, my desk is your bed
and I’ve seen the corpses of nature trodden over
in the rhythm of things
without grieving, we are relieved
to have the soil fed, but my lover died
and we all burned her before she rotted,
how much have I denied the hungry earth
to end my human grief.

Summer, do you remember me as a baby
when I came out the deep snow
tasting of February, the scent of my father,
I groaned through sleep in cars, so
Summer, take out your thorn
of hardened lilacs
browned and beaten
between here
and the counting hours,
who are the hover flies, who are the leaves,
who was I last summer, before
the IV drip and pearly gowns, and if green
won’t free me, if the bark
bones invite the phantoms, Summer,
don’t bleed me,
tell your trails
lay down their guns.

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