Under the Surface
It's not a question of identity--
the daffodils are blooming already.
It's a question of visibility,
the outward face of petals speading open,
the fluted throat of the stamen relinquishing a voice.
Spring always returns and with it
the bulbs burst into green stalks
enticed from the soil by light
as each spring my depression lifts.
It's not a question of identity, really,
but being asked to mingle at parties,
read my poems to audiences.
It's about the red that pulses through my skin
leaving blotches on my chest and neck.
Little girls point at flowers
and talk of the pretty colors. Perhaps
I'm not ready for this.
Often, I wish to stay the bulb
with hairy, peeling skin in the garden bed
where I am cool and hidden just under the surface
resisting the slight tease of sunlight
calling me out.
(Flesh and Air, poetry manuscript, 2003)