Wake crocuses—push through crumbling asphalt;
purr and croon, slumbering cats curled like snails—
let feral dreams rumble through the sewers.
Snowdrops: root through the frost, unlatch her vault
and show her the way out; read the rock-braille
with fingers deft as mice feet, lithe as worms,
and tunnel to the Market-Frankford line.
She’ll board that train. Wake up, weeping cherries
and forsythias, down rows of brownstones
till the thaw gives way to fluttering vines—
my trademark welcome back sign. Wind: carry
my love notes by sea—fragrant balm of storms,
lilac, and exhaust. If only she would
eat that scent like seeds, undo sleep for good.
Eat that scent like seeds, undo sleep for good—
lilac and exhaust—if only I could.
Love notes come by sea in a balm of storms—
my soon-I’ll-be-back signs. They carry me
till the thaw gives way to fluttering vines
and forsythias. Down rows of brownstones,
I’ll board that train, wake up buds of cherries.
I’ll tunnel to the Market-Frankford line—
my fingers deft as mice feet, lithe as worms—
and I’ll feel my way out, read the rock-braille.
Snowdrops root through frost, help unlatch my vault.
My feral dreams rumble through the sewers—
cats uncurling from slumber to croon, wail.
But first, I must push through this crumbling asphalt.
Dawn Manning creates art with words, metal, photography, and other media, in Delco, PA. She is the author of Postcards from the Dead Letter Office (Burlesque Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in CALYX, Ecotone, Smartish Pace, and other literary publications. She also herds cats for local rescue efforts.