BY DANA BLATTE
After “Spring” by Frank Weston Benson
Our first day in town, my husband unstoppered a flask.
He drank with the crows in the field and the new neighbors
apologized for him. He will return, like a fledgling
to its mother. Until then, the palette was so muted
in New Hampshire that I could touch the landscape
without tasting it. There was vulgarity
to the peonies, how they lay over one another
until I prised them apart with my nails.
Then the river dried up like a whitened tongue.
My husband walked into the night sky
and fell through the front door four days later. He still loved me
but I stuffed my ears with honey so I would not love him back.
After, we sold that place and our marriage. We strayed
in opposite directions. Him to the west, me to the house
we had said we would plump with gas lamps and candles
and children with stained cheeks. Here, the neighbors gossip
for months. The walls stay unlit. I wander on soft feet,
survive the winter by bedding with crows. I want
to go home, but I have already forgotten
who I belonged to, why four days later
the dirt outside is freshly churned, the riverbank
as translucent as the climbing tide. Still
the landscape lies on my tongue. In my throat rushing
with sweetness when I bury the river in my mouth.