On Seasons

By Christopher Nelson

Featured art: Untitled by Jesse Lee Kercheval

Late May, my favorite time. The false
gromwell glows at field edge, glows
at roadside, and my glowing little boy who holds
a bunch in his fist runs to bring me the gift.
It smells of wet dog—some call it donkey
weed because it smells like them too.
Dense, sort of spiraling, floppy bunch of
unopening blooms wherefrom each sealed
thin white spool protrudes a style like
a ghost moth’s tongue. Grace curve.
Flower-borne spike. I’ve never killed a man.
I haven’t broken a bone of my own or
that of another. Dirty green-white. Stiff-haired.
When my father jabbed a man in the face
at the ball field, his fist so fast,
nearly invisible, yet the man’s
ejected teeth went up into the night sky
and caught the halogen light
and pirouetted slow motion before
getting lost in the red infield dirt
and the general scuffle of men. Part of the
forget-me-not family.


Christopher Nelson is the author of Blood Aria (University of Wisconsin Press, 2021) and three chapbooks: Blue House (Poetry Society of America, 2009), Capital City at Midnight, recipient of the 2014 BLOOM Chapbook Prize; and Love Song for the New World (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019). He is the founder and editor of Green Linden Press and the journal Under a Warm Green Linden. Visit christophernelson.info.

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