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Last sync:2023-03-09 12:45
Elizabeth Metzger reads her poem, "Not Spring".


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I'm Elizabeth Metzger and I'm reading "Not Spring" from my book The Spirit Papers.  I wrote this poem for Max Ritvo, the poet who died in 2016.  Max and I had a friendship that felt like an eternal conversation and I wrote this poem after a literal eternal conversation.  We were up all night on the phone and he was about to hear the results of scans to see whether his cancer had spread.  

Not Spring

When all the other trees are bare
the red tree grows.

The fire of a thousand parrots
cannot overcome its courage.

I picture you lying in the township
of your father's arms.

The noose of your mouth
is a way of not speaking.

The floors of your eyes, shiny
and light-soaked.

Rest finds your rib cage.
It hides and seeks within

the crescent lung,
a sad little Mesopotamia.  

I will be talking to you
for a long time when you wake

in the felt shade, leaving
what you  love of what you love.