My New Lover Gets Spring Fever
by Grace Smith
As suddenly as in snow they appeared,
this morning the daffodils by the State Center
station gape headless. Crab apple boughs slump
under pink ruffles, and underground the metro
is slick like a womb. I sit on the seat that says
Joyce again, wonder if there’s actually one in
every car, sharpied on by Joyce herself, or maybe
she’s someone’s big love. While I’m reading
your very first lie, sunlight dunks the train in peach
in case we’d forgotten. It’s testing season at school.
I wake JC up twice. Doris draws a stick person
on scratch paper. Her friend adds one semi-circle
on the chest and one on the rear, erases them,
we all smile. I write on the board, on va en dehors
and get seventeen hugs. Leaving cheer practice,
I see two stars in the day with their arms on a boy.
Spying me they light away and I in my green heart
wish they’ll learn fast, exactly how they
need to be loved. I hear the men waiting on the bus
describe my body, I look for Joyce, I cross the turnstile,
someone stops and asks, Isn’t the sun bigger
than the earth? Yes, I agree. How much bigger,
they ask. I admit I don’t know, but behind me
someone answers with certainty, like two times.
On the escalator a man in a tall skinny hat turns back to
me and says, you’re not tailing me, are you?
In the street two little kids sprint, turn and hop
hydrants after their striding mom. With a single
sweeping look she sees no cars are coming and,
like one, they cross, and I forgive myself for
years of following people that I thought saw the way.
Now in spring evening I lie right back at you, just
a question of condoms and soul searching,
legs dangling off the fire escape,
sunset still a ways off.
Grace Smith is a writer and teacher. Originally from Baltimore, MD, she currently lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she studies fiction in the MFA at WVU.