If we must have violence, then let it be
the violence of violets, how they burst
into spring, before most anything else—
vanguard of the voluptuous—
unravelling their petals, their leaves
to attract whatever will love them.
If we must rant and rave, then let us
do so as they do, inconspicuously,
close to the ground, in all the wet places
until something with a stinger comes
and mounts us, turning us inward
where we learn what it is to sweeten.
Copyright © 2017 Jose A. Alcantara. Reprinted with permission of the author. First appeared in Rattle
Jose A. Alcantara works in a bookstore in Aspen, Colorado. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Spillway, The American Journal of Poetry, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Midwest Quarterly, Spoon River Poetry Review, Little Patuxent Review, San Pedro River Review, and 99 Poems for the 99%. Jose is a former Fishtrap Fellow and was the winner of the 2017 Patricia Bibby Memorial Scholarship from Tebot Bach.