Ash Garden

Written by  Kimberly Johnson

Spring begins in a fatness of front lawns,
but not mine. I whose blowtorch urge approaches
the ascetic, whose resolve to bury

luxuriance grows raw-handed from shoveling,
have duly torched and shoveled grass until
the baked blades crumpled like old palm fronds

and their upturned roots drooped. Let spring begin
in ash and dust, I say, and bloom as little
as possible out of them. I'm planting

stonecrop, and rockmat, and if the fireweed
insists on sowing itself in cinders
I'll truckle it to my lenten aesthetic

or pluck it out: I'll parch the ground six weeks
to prompt by thirst the fireweed's fancy,
gratuitous pink to put on the drab.

Let it learn in sackcloth colors to thrive
on desire alone. It's a discipline
I'm ripe to teach. I excel at fasting.

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