Massachusetts Spring by April Ranger
Spring must have a human heart:
fickle, turbulent, easy to blame.
But spring is not trapped by a body
like ours. It will not be swayed.
You cannot strip-tease spring,
though Massachusetts knows I have tried,
as though showing an extra inch of thigh
could convince March to place his warm hands
on my back and stay. Like my naked skin
could force the temperature of earth
itself to rise past forty-five degrees: You like that, Spring?
There’s more where that came from, honey.
Give me some of your heat.
So do not judge the teenage girls
busting out of short shorts while frost still chokes
the windowsills. They are only as eager as anyone else
for summer’s sweaty palms, unafraid to flaunt
their new wants, to ask for everything.
I will only tell them this:
spring is nothing like a man.
You cannot make it move toward you
by shaking your ass.
Or perhaps: spring
is exactly like a man.
You cannot make it do anything.
Seduction as a tool is a foolish misuse.
Giving my body in exchange for warmth
is the worst lie I have ever told.
The snow will fall thick at least once
after you stow your gloves in the attic
and your fingers
will be chapped for days,
ten red stubs
stiff and bare as birch trees.
O, that my body could unlearn
its own winter. That I could forgive myself
the way leaves unfurl.
Massachusetts Spring first appeared in apt‘s fourth print annual, which you can buy here.
April Ranger is a 2008 National Poetry Slam finalist, a three-time member of Boston Cantab’s National Poetry Slam team, and recipient of the Nicole Dufresne Playwriting Award. Her poems have appeared in Muzzle Magazine, apt, and Off The Coast. She directed the premiere of her short play, Civilized Rituals, at the 2013 Dorchester Fringe Festival. April grew up in Maine and currently lives in Brooklyn.