Not Spring by Elizabeth Metzger


When all the other trees are bare
the red tree grows.

The fire of a thousand parrots
cannot overcome its courage.

I picture you lying in the township
of your father’s arms.

The noose of your mouth
is a way of not speaking.

The floors of your eyes, shiny
and light-soaked.

Rest finds your ribcage.
It hides and seeks within

the crescent lung,
a sad little Mesopotamia.

I will be talking to you
for a long time when you wake

in the felt shade, leaving
what you love of what you love.
Elizabeth Metzger is an MFA candidate and teaching fellow at Columbia University in New York. She received the 2013 Narrative Magazine Poetry Prize, and her poems have recently appeared in Guernica, Narrative, H.O.W. Journal, LA Review, and The Common. She is also an Assistant Poetry Editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books.