but at least you’re beautiful | Cara Lorello

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SILENT SPRING


The city is in the throes of quarantine
but the river's pulse is calm,
the picture surrounding it serene,
untouched by headlines and slog.
I sought it out, unable to keep confined
to the four-wall pocket of the apartment,
any excuse to be one in a midst of other bodies,
though few, traipsing the near-empty park grounds
keeping six feet of distance,
one body to the next.

While sitting in the concrete shadow of paved steps
beside the river falls, my light sensitive eyes focused.
Saw the pruned red thorn bushes sprouted
spider-like from yellowed grass knolls, long uncut
and spotted with weeds.
All that contrast of color and form,
nature’s response to the human touch,
melds to it rather than resists,
like the soft turnover of waves
mixed with the click of bicycle spokes,
jogger footfalls, the distant traffic hum over birdsong.

A marmot's brown mound emerged sudden from the shadow of the wall,
as if giving me cue to leave his realm. I rose slow, resisting wont
to stay before spotting a rust -brown pair of horns just beyond the cliff's edge,
the body of a ram following. It took a moment to register its mid-stride pose,
the orange rain streaks on its flanks and complete lack of movement to my jump—
a life-size sculpture from the city's park restoration project erected less than
a year before.