There Were No Tulips

Michal Leibowitz

that winter, but the crows stayed.
Ruffled their skins from the telephone
wires. Crowed as they were wont to do.
We did not ask for things
to be anything

but what they were. Still,
I wrote you. Compared your hands
to flat top mesas. Compared your lips
to December’s vane.

Winter had always been
a blade. Like your paring knife on a chestnut’s
leather, like a scalpel on the wet
membranes of a frog.

It was not the seasons that changed.