Morning in April, the war still on, sun silting the kitchen
like coffee grounds in the sink. In yesterday's Times
mourners in India ripped doors from hinges, smashed
loose shutters. Like the ancient Rites of Spring--
steer roasts in the budding groves, lions waiting to be fed--
the pageantry of death so close to bliss. The street's all aftermath:
torched cars, trampled grass. The day hoisted by its shoulders
and carried away. After all these months, I've come to expect
nothing less of despair. A hero dies and why not
take to the streets, join the cherry trees rallying into bloom?
Death so close you can reach out and tear a board
from the casket, taste the bitter singe of rubber in the air.
And why not follow the ambulance like Orpheus's keening
head down the river of bodies, add another voice to the severed
song? Even now, as grief threatens to strip the world to its naked
scaffolding--the war entered a third year, you still nine months
from home--blossoms swarm my window and the sun
impulsively flashes, bare flesh beneath a shredded veil.