Talking feels canceled when I stand alone
in the forest. Mother, your thinness is a letter
to my worry. I watch you work in the garden.
I confuse solitude with loneliness.
My hair is also grey kisses at sundown.
A doe strafes the ridgeline, until lost
in the thicket, only snapping brush.

           God undressed in an arbor of madness;
I am his mannequin’s shadow.
My eyes empty the last clip of daylight
into the forest, and quietly
the rain on leaves leaves leaves clean.

           A son’s no thing but a map to likeness.
You have tried to make me yours—
I think of the bones you broke to bring me here.
I promise, I am trying to love the world.
Say it is not impossible. Place
your flowers on the sill inside me.