Springtime for Hyacinth.   by Suzanne Nielsen

Hyacinth Neuman asked me one April afternoon while watching the melting snow feed the brown grass in the barren field off the highway why love caused so much pain. It starts off as an itch, she said, an itch that when you scratch it feels so comforting. So you keep feeding it until soon it burns and then bleeds fire. She looked at me, eyes draining any remaining bodily fluids and said, Why do I say this to you? You have never been in love, have you Toby? I hid my skin like hyacinth bulbs of a fool in love.