The boxelder bugs skitter
from their winter closets
as I resist being beaten
back into mine. Despite
each blow, this thought:
what is life without
blossoms flexing
in the sun, all that rainbow?

And always death, like a cat, waits
on the other side of doors.
In winter, in tight stale spaces,
it pounces on anything that moves.
In spring, it leaves behind scattered
blossoms to rub against my legs
as if I’m just another companion.
So many days now I’ve been waiting
for the nails to come out.

For some, I was dead
the moment I said “it’s cancer,”
the moment I said “I’m asexual,”
the moment I said “I’m trans,”
the moment I said “that hurts.”
Some seem angry they can’t kill me twice.
They return to my grave demanding absolution,
leave messages with the wrong name and pronouns
among so many scattered blossoms.
They keep insisting they aren’t capable
of violence.

But I’m too busy rebuilding, cell by cell.
The cat watches a sprout unfurl.
Soon, a bud might appear.
Soon, a blossom.

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