Spring Flood

Sara Tracey

In this city: sirens, pink-sky night
and church spires. Once, a gunshot
collapsed the quiet of your back yard,

but the first time you took me there,
the world was still except the rain.

The others told me you were like dancing,
like song, but I knew you were chalk dust
and Hennessey. Tonight, I’m on your back porch

watching you smoke cigarettes. Inside,
music plays. We take turns choosing the song.

I wear your coat, your boots—you stand barefoot
in the rain and I feel joy. How could I stop
laughing? At some point, the spell will break.

Weeks ago, you warned me I would forget
to say no. And each time I look in the mirror,

I find a new bruise the shape of your mouth.
It comes down to this: spring flood and thunder,
tangled hair, my watch on your bedroom floor.

When I speak, your name clings to my tongue
like a prayer I’ve forgotten the words to.

I know this is madness. Church bells
and lilac blossoms, earthworms on the sidewalk
and a man asking for quarters. I’ve never been

so blessed. On the train, the windows fog up.
All I can see is the color of brick.