In the city spring burns its way out
of me any way it can. Mother, I’ve made
a list of all the lovely things you’ve done
for me so I can remember when I leave you.
The tiny fields of mandrake, the violet lawn
of hawkweed where the deer stares
with enormous splayed ears. Up high along
the cliff live the animals with spikes who climb
the hickory trees. I could go anytime now
and it would not be about the afterlife.
I will not be limited to truth. My mouth
will be hard against your forehead.