"Little Februaries"

Paperwhites

BY MICHELLE DETORIE

Little Februaries, they

            unbind themselves, pages

sweetening the air.

            Little petals, not fit

for grieving, ornately

            frail. Petals sheer as sheets,

as raw and spare. Stems,

            thin straws of green, needles

drinking the dirt —

            unspooling the white

bulb into blossom. Lips

            parting open their pale

veils. Green veins poured

            into tiny cups of ivory air.

Green straws — green pencils —

             throats through which a shallow

dark is drawn. White notes

             birthed and nursed. A white song

scored — forced out — little breaths

             exhaled. Sweet wreaths for rooms.

Sweet wraiths exhumed. Eyes

             opening the whites

                         at the end of their lines.  

 Source: Blackbird Archive