A Hawthorn, Rooted Close to Other Guests

This is not

nature—the way

pain interrupts

its answers, ashen

 

awl-tipped

limbs waving

and brushing them-

selves, chill crushes

 

carried across

the ravine; and

a wing of

their broken flutter,

 

that desiccated

battle-din, is

hooked by a frosty

steam, and it balds.

 

Though the awls are

hollow-point—the un-

graspable locusts

having left

 

behind veins of shadowy

larvae inside them.

And the hollowed-out

scent of cold rain. And

 

suddenly—a corridor

of ropy light

twines round

the stems and

 

fills those absent

bodies with steamy

voices they cannot

share, cannot

 

reveal, retaining

a skin that shields

unerringly—And so

the sudden remains

 

only as an answer

the stilled silk

flowers

prod-up to reach

 

on this dog’s grave

(what symmetry

can gather itself

entire, in the

 

open air?)—a calm

tended to by

the wrinkled spines of

shucked chestnuts.

 

I would invoke

the radiance of the mirror

uncovering itself

inside the glistering

 

jetsam-spread of leaves, or

the receding waves of

these flowers, fathering

the dusk into them.