The earliest shoots of spring

erupt

into what isn’t quite yet an orgasm
a
nd the air at last has something like a smell.
I didn’t think that I could muddle through
another winter

but here I am, as one must always be.

I didn’t greet this year with a forward march:
more a thud

followed by a trudge.

The thing I call myself has aged a bit,
its atoms exchanged

its pieces rearranged—

and now the world it shapes is slightly shifted.

We were assured, so soon ago
of mind’s mastery over matter.

Then autumn turned to winter.

Thought festers in the thought of thoughts ceasing
and all that festers rots,

but the heart has reasons greater than our reason
for trusting what it wants.

(Am I my heart, or the thing it contemplates?)
Spring arrives, with its bounty and its lusts.
Snowmelt drips erotic from the branches—

little leaves still cast a winter shade.

I’ll say, I thought of lives foreclosed;
I’ll say, I thought of death

I’ll say, I thought of my habibi’s eyes
I’ll say, I thought of tomorrow’s politics
but that would be a lie.

We were assured, so soon ago,
of mind’s mastery over matter.

All it took was the passing of a season

to cast the world into its natural doubt.
Nothing is disclosed to us

nothing is without its cost.

Somehow I didn’t think I’d pay the price,
but there are creditors in this world

who never fail to collect their dividends.

The thing I call myself has already died
a thousand little deaths;

to learn to philosophize is to die

a thousand times.

But death’s a curious little seed

and seeds, once planted, grow.

I really didn’t think I’d muddle through
another winter

like this, without you

yet here I am, as one must always be.

We were assured, so soon ago,
of mind’s mastery over matter.

Now at last we know

there’s no such thing as mind or man

but matter makes it so

and a man is just the passing of a season.