Sonnet from Alef to Bet (2)

Lust leaks from the inner rings of our bodies:
tree-trunks scarred with age. We say we’re tired,

but our lust surges above oceans, loosens clouds
and frees the sky. It unchains hurricanes

and brings saw-toothed parsnips into being.
Our love breeds stinging nettles that flank the woods.

No one guesses it hums within our skin.
When I was young, did I river next to fields,

feeling this much rapture? Did I break open
with more happiness, hiking along coastal meadows

or striding on city streets? Sometimes, I want to tell you,
I’m afraid of joy. Sometimes, I believe I’m worthy

only of grief. Even when dogwoods blossom,
I—a fool—cling to the faith I have only in my grief.

Copyright © 2024 by Yerra Sugarman. Used with permission of the author.