Diego Enrique FloresNew York City, New York (photograph)

Tell me again about delphinium.
About how foxglove rose to herald
this new season. How even rows
of unnamed soldiers do nothing
to halt the triumph of wisteria
that winds its vines over the fence,
curls itself into the grooves of wood,
grasps the corners of ballast to spike
their bloom into another night’s armor.
How I thought I was shielded
from the time of opening, closed
so long from grace, from the touch
of warmth that came later to cover
my face from what I can only
describe as absence, those ad infinitum
losses, those cleaving trowels carving
pits into hollows. How now I am
slowly awakening, recalling this winter
lasts forever was another cold hyperbole,
how burying and burrowing don’t work
in a life continuing to cycle and spin
and open this hard husk of grief. So
tell me about cornflower. About lilac.
How sweet scent can carry the wind.
How yesterday I was ready to give
it up. How now I am ready to begin.


Alicia Hoffman