You wanted me to say it through their flowering,
didn’t you? To declare my love
with these ferocious prairies of snow?
I know what you desire.
Attached as you are to equity,
you too want a chance at resurrection.
And when one of you lies face up under a canopy,
wind flicking petals from a branch,
you like to think,
this must be God’s fingers touching my cheek.
I advise you to stop imagining the aftermath
as something you can apprehend.
The singular could never withstand
what the whole must endure.
Not that it matters,
but beauty was a distraction I invented once
in a moment of boredom,
before possession, what can I crush?
Not the antidote you want to believe.
But beauty in all its cruelty
piercing one world with the next.
Julia B. Levine’s fifth collection, Ordinary Psalms, will be published in February 2021 with LSU press. Her previous poetry collection, Small Disasters Seen in Sunlight, (LSU press 2014) was awarded the 2015 Northern California Book Award in Poetry. Widely published, her work has been anthologized in many collections. She lives and works in Davis, California.