Virginia Street

February on another coast is April
here. Astrology is months:
you are February, or are you
June, and who is
December? Who is books
read in spring, wingspan
between midnight
and mourning

Another starry tree, coastal
counterpoint where magnolia is
a brighter season
peach and pear
are grafted onto the same tree
fear and fat stick
to the same sprained bone
For this adolescent reprise
recycle everything trivial
but this time bring
the eye into sight:
make sight superior
to what is seen

A decade is to look at June
and see April
to look at April
and see February
Relief of repetition
seasons mean again,
one flowering branch suspended
in the half-light of spring
We sat on steps
beneath a tree
No: I walked by
The tree bloomed
and I looked up


Copyright © 2018 by Jennifer Hayashida. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 22, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem
“‘Virginia Street’ is a love poem to a then and a there, to a former self and a beloved other. It emerged out of a desire to generate a corrective, to resee the past through the lens of the present and to consider the large and small losses that lead to what we consider insight or perspective—the eye, here, figured as the gaze of a first-person self attending to her third-person past.”
—Jennifer Hayashida