I am thinking about dead boys this time of year,
how the earth softens and little pieces of them rise up,
fingers and toes, hairs and phalluses,
the curl of the hyacinth petal, the thrust of the crocus,
the daffodil nodding to itself, the rampant white lilies.
Hyacinth and Narcissus, Attis and Crocus,
Jesus, too, though he was a man grown,
bits and pieces of bread and wine,
the monstrous white lilies brought from the hothouse
to choke church choirs with their pollen.
The fathers beat their breasts and the women keen,
wailing and moaning, tearing their hair,
walking up and down and watering the greedy earth
with tears, saying those names: Attis, Adonis,
Hyacinth, Crocus, Jesus, Trayvon, Michael, Tamir,
Narcissus, Eric, all those boys ploughed under.
But they come up again, they come shooting up,
as the sun rises higher and the women hoe the rows,
and Antinous, that beautiful boy, who killed the boar
that hunted him, comes with his spear and holds out
a hand, rise up, Attis, brother, rise up, Adonis, come on,
Hyacinth and Crocus, Trayvon and Tamir, take my hand,
get up, here’s Jesus, here we are, get up, boys,
it’s time to rise up, they’re waiting for us.