This wind has no white lilies on its tongue,
Nor yet a flame, but smoke—the air incensed
With last year’s dead: the apple tree it wrung
In half, the ravaged lilacs, dear expense
Without reward; the wrong partitions torn.
The leaves are bickering relics in the street;
The wizened fields, a weathered skin too worn
To hold another spring. So we complete
Despair’s consuming ouroboros. Who
Believes in wholeness with his bones between
His teeth? We want to force our fingers through
The wounds to find a pulse amidst our spleen
As we go mumbling winter’s shibboleth—
In April’s mouth November’s sour breath.
Libby Maxey has a master’s degree in Medieval Studies and works as a freelance editor. She is on staff at the online journal Literary Mama, which has also published her poetry. Other work has appeared in The Mom Egg Review, Off the Coast, Tule Review, and Crannóg. Her non-literary activities include singing classical repertoire and mothering two sons.