in springtime, the only pretty ring time

by David T. Gay

in springtime, the only pretty ring time

if I could gaze with unabashed desire

into the eyes of my beloved

I’d live in the iris of her eaves

while heat waves fluttered from the sun

I’d take her hand and lead her south

to the wine bar I walked past

where music strummed through thin guitars

fills every cab-filled glass

we’d sit together when spring begins

and watch the starlings loft

I’d wring her hand with soft entreats

to make the season soft

yes, that’s what I’d do

and perhaps in spring by willows green

beside the river black

perhaps along the asphalt trail

that leads to lake and back

she will slip aside her silly mask

that minds me of cold winter’s curse

and lay my head upon her chest

and ask me sing a verse

perhaps I’ll sing some words I don’t know now

and melt her heart like cocoa on my tongue

fold her in like cream to batter

or froth our coffee streams along

then I’ll sing to her and sing to her

of why my soul’s alive

I’ll ravish her with fire

and sing to her of life

she’s cursed, I think, to wear a mask

and hold a cold man dear

to hide her heart from every heart

that melts as it comes near

and I’m cursed, I know

to want no one but her

and pray that time will sometime cure

the ice of winter love

but this pernicious curse creeps up fast

and smothers sparks till dreams lie smashed

like a bottle of Hennessy thrown from a car that sped away

on graveyard sidewalk

and one day we wake

and see beside us nothing

oh spring

open your fountains

twine your long vines around the beams of hope

bloom your white carnations

let your birds of paradise fly

make blue your sky and green the fresh-mowed lawns of Carmichael

bejewel with due the spider webs on every upturned brush

bring back the canopy of oak and elm

and let the eucalyptus, too, feed beneath the light

make me a lover once again, great season

wheel me, drunk with love, in a barrow

down the long street, singing, everyone tipping a dripping bottle

as my friends and I sing, all together now, sweet lovers love the spring

oh friends deposit me

in the sweetest flower bed

her bed, the bed that holds

the mattress of her eyes