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Every spring I look up the word “herbarium”

Every spring I look up the word “herbarium”

and consider making a flower press or buying one

from someone on Etsy and then later I open a book

and bits of dried plant fall out. Desmond opens Richard Scarry’s

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go and a mostly

flat, mostly-dried wildflower called “hairy vetch”

falls out, and I can only tell him it’s hairy vetch,

which is of course funny, because someone told me.

I mean I was gathering the vetch from the yard in front

of the church down the street, the one near the community

garden on New Hampshire Avenue, and someone called

to me from their car. “I think it’s hairy vetch,” he said.

I gave him the blank stare I give when I’m tired and

someone has unexpectedly done something kind.

If you haven’t slept well in years then questions about

what you have time for or whether sex is better than

sleep or whether sex or joyful activities like gathering wildflowers

can be part of any kind of revolutionary strategy

–those questions feel defeating. I did once cry reading Guy DeBord

on the bus to New York but I was very young and

already certain that my life was over, as it is every spring,

when I mostly ignore my body’s physiological response

to sunlight, rebirth and resurrection and instead

turn on my computer and meet the deadline. I’m being

extra sad about wage work for the sake of the poem,

and I really am that sad, but most of the time I’m fine.

I mean I’m ok with the fleeting nature of existence. It’s fine.

3 thoughts on “Every spring I look up the word “herbarium”

  1. the ending of this wrenches. the whole thing…

  2. ugh I love all of this, KLG! maybe all of us who haven’t slept well in years are the real hairy vetches?

  3. Pickle car!!

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