May First

by Alicia Ostriker

I think it is
a kind of hysteria
the forsythia screaming

like adolescent girls out for a joyride
in somebody’s convertible
watch out watch out watch out

the tulips especially the red ones humming
sweetheart confess you want to
put us in your mouth

the magnolia declaring
I am southern and I am fat
do you have a problem with that

why the ruckus I ask them
don’t pretend you don’t know
they reply


Copyright 2016, Alicia Ostriker

Alicia Ostriker’s most recent book of poems is The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog. Her most recent book of essays is Dancing at the Devil’s Party: Essays on Poetry, Politics, and the Erotic. She has been twice a finalist for the National Book Award, and teaches in the Drew University low-residency Poetry MFA program.


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