The boy has collected beestings in his cupped hands,
one small thorn for every day he’s been away from home.
This is a way to indicate the weather has changed,
the body’s slow sacrifice to spring. After the snow leaves,
a yard looks smaller, the windows see more or too much
or just enough empty space to be confused with death.
His family uses rabbit fur and thistles and dusty radiator heat
to dress the small opening where he used to sit.
Winter can leave in more than one color, the cold
weather against the window is just another way to hold water.
Somewhere, he takes his arms slowly out of his shirt, carefully,
like he’s lost something. The hair on his body spreads calmly,
little fern leaves, and he is reminded sometimes change is delicate.
The bruises on his hands will fade. The body’s perception of pain
diminishes under the buzzing perfume of fear.