April is the Cruelest Month.

I wake up and it’s three years since Liz passed and I don’t want to feel it so I write to forget who I am. April bursts from the ground and the smell of flowers mixes with the scent of freshly shed jackets making the whole town cough gardenias and B.O. Mountain folk wear T-shirt’s and think about the possibility of open toed shoes, while tourists sip americanos and talk with an accent that would convince you their first word was “tinsel”. Wood splits itself. Sticks gather at the front door waiting to be burned alive. There’s good music in town. The best drummers hit the kit with such residual feeling it’s evident that the pent-up emotion held by winter can’t, and won’t, just melt into the dirt. The energy goes, flows and knows that it was conjured with compassionate intention but the air, unprepared for such “heavy” levees the full feeling back, waiting for true summer before administering the weight in weekend doses. Dearly above. I washed my hands and woke up with sunk sockets and pockets more empty than they were before. There’s a small bud trying to wrestle itself from the end of the silver oak branch outside the bedroom window. I could help it, unwrap it and whittle Spring into its bones but everything born by force dies quickly so why bother. Why not just be and understand that that is enough. Why not. Why, knot. Knot. Knot. Knitting season is decidedly over once the daffodils genuflect. I cross myself more than once. I cross myself, and pry open a fresh can of chickpeas. Food doesn’t taste good anymore. Springtime in Appalachia thins more blood than a drunken Dracula. What of that? What of anything? Giraffes could be everyone’s favorite animal if they realized how absurdly inconsistent miracles were. I want a neck so far away from my body I couldn’t noose a goddamn thing. Something opens. A box. What’s in it? Marbles. Summer clothes. Seeds from last season you have the gall to believe in. Nothing is enough. I close my eyes cause it’s tough but what isn’t. Liz, I’d give my last spoonful of manuka honey to have your browns stare back into mine. It’s springtime again and I can’t take it but I’ll be damned if I don’t keep it close to my heart.

Katherine Dolan