by Ginnah Howard

The shock of forsythia, quince...your thighs
when you lean in for the milk.  Well, hello
hunger: what a sweet surprise.   

If one could count on anything beyond 
now, I count on the trout lily's return, but 
come March--the barren hills sleet-gray--that 
your thighs are going to wake a warm beast 
anywhere on my terrain isn't even on my list:
            Be thankful:   
            four cords of wood left,
 plus all that       untethered range.       

Then heat, thunder, spring-night air, and the hollow
just below your hip, surfaces.  Here we are again: 
you, washing your hands at the sink; me, peeling
potatoes.  Each time you pass through my zone, 
I want to rub my chest against you and purr.   

But wouldn't you know it, we've been grumpy so
long, just when I'm watching your fingers peel
back the plastic on the Cheerios, you're soliloquizing 
CD rollovers.  You've refurbished an old hide-out and
it's going to take a lot of good dinners and going-alongs.   

Only a few nights ago the peepers woke--a more
discordant opera of hankering you've never heard: such
a din of longing, each me, me, me tuning up.  Imagine 
the transcription.  What librettist ever got Babel better:
the gospel of love?