Spring Will Be Closing Soon

And that scrubby mesa 
can’t afford this rain, but 
she’d like to try it on anyway. 
Hey, Cinderella, it’s about to be 
—actually, summer in Arizona 
and winter in Alaska are exactly the same. 
It’s sort of like fascism and communism. 
But May’s idealistic, still, 
and birds rise up in defense, or in debate, 
of a world in which the impossible 
seems only barely so. 
Let’s just say you had nothing. 
It’s spring, it rains, you have nothing, 
but you could have anything at all 
for ten seconds. Do you want it? 
Do you want that body? The sound of your name? 
Would you like to slip into this rainy dress? 
When it’s gone, you can always deserve it. 
You can deserve anything you want 
as you walk home, but now it’s time 
to walk, by an empty, cracked road 
washed over with sand, and a creosote smell 
which is lush and endless 
inside you, as long as you never breathe out, 
and nothing will seem true 
tomorrow, sweating at breakfast 
and almost too hot to be lonely 
but you are the night’s own antelope, 
and you are a cactus covered with snow 
and you are a moth in a city of evening primroses, 
unfolded, bright, and offering 
their most expensive stamens out to you, 
because everything possible 
is just barely so, in the world 
there is much and vast beauty for rent. 

Wild White Roses by a Creekbed in June

Motionless, they seem to wheel 
And glow, upstream there, like bad stars, 
Scrapped and floating in a pile, 
Too hot to touch. But no, they aren’t 
Quite still—their falling, gathering, 
And lifting back so slowly, bent 
So shallowly, could be the path 
Of hour-old or coming wind. 
The highest are face-high, film-thin 
And flat, with the petals splayed, not cupped. 
They’re just a little colder than 
The air. They feel too smooth to touch. 
It’s June and, otherwise, it’s drought. 
What snow the creek did get, the roots 
Must have gripped, to grow such white 
From earth cracking beneath the spruce, 
Quartz-white, where now a spider lightly 
Adjusts its perch, biting the collar 
Of a small, barely twitching bee 
Whose face is smothered in pollen. 


Sam Reed holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, where he taught Poetry Writing and Creative Writing. His poems have appeared in journals such as Colorado ReviewDenver Quarterly, and Beloit Poetry Journal, which awarded him its 2006 Chad Walsh Poetry Prize. Previously he studied Environmental Studies at Prescott College, in Arizona. He was raised in Northern California. Sam will be teaching a poetry workshop at the IIML over the summer.