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Onset

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Watching that frenzy of insects above the bush of white flowers,   
bush I see everywhere on hill after hill, all I can think of   
is how terrifying spring is, in its tireless, mindless replications.   
Everywhere emergence: seed case, chrysalis, uterus, endless manufacturing.
And the wrapped stacks of Styrofoam cups in the grocery, lately
I can’t stand them, the shelves of canned beans and soups, freezers   
of identical dinners; then the snowflake-diamond-snowflake of the rug
beneath my chair, rows of books turning their backs,
even my two feet, how they mirror each other oppresses me,
the way they fit so perfectly together, how I can nestle one big toe into the other
like little continents that have drifted; my God the unity of everything,
my hands and eyes, yours; doesn’t that frighten you sometimes, remembering
the pleasure of nakedness in fresh sheets, all the lovers there before you,
beside you, crowding you out? And the scouring griefs,
don’t look at them all or they’ll kill you, you can barely encompass your own;
I’m saying I know all about you, whoever you are, it’s spring   
and it’s starting again, the longing that begins, and begins, and begins.

Kim Addonizio, “Onset” from Tell Me. Copyright © 2000 by Kim Addonizio. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd, www.boaeditions.org.
Source: Tell Me (BOA Editions Ltd., 2000)
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Onset

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