In my world, April is now Prince, poetry and at least one day of snow. In that order. Come what may. His Royal Badness was not only a musical conservatory in one body, his lyrics were among the first to fuel my appetite for poetry.
On this last Flashback Friday of National Poetry Month 2017, I slip into something paisley and share a page pulled from my stacks.
A version of this poem ended up projected on a wall as part of a Snowpocalypse art piece at the Phillips Collection in DC, but it began almost ten years ago as a tea and jam stained page torn from an old notebook. Today, it’s a throwback to something I haven’t seen in ages. Snow.
Yesterday we got 17 inches. You walked in borrowed boots to my front door. 500 blocks after flying 5000 miles. Knocked, said, “this is the perfect night to fall in love.”
In the dark, silent 2am. No traffic. Arm in arm, we ease down the middle of Columbia Rd., disobeying street lights. Throats hoarse with laughter; no words spoken. The church on the corner is a merengue mountain against the navy sky. Its face, a clock, has stopped.
A gang of stars on parole cut a sugarplum rug under the streetlight. A frosted bass line billows in gossamer sheets, wicked as the finish on the rum we sip. Our breath is warm, but your lips look cold.
Some flakes hop a gust swirling upward. Safe from landing, they are happily curfewed to the clouds. Others hover on high, monks in prayer. Some flakes never make it back. Melt into pavement, wind, tree bark. Tops of heads. Tips of tongues.
So we may as well be on our backs. Noses to the sky.
Waving our arms and legs until they become wings.