There were a number of archaeological objects in the sheets which would normally have bothered me. A press-on nail from the dry cleaners, a beetle that flew in through the kitchen window and burrowed into the neck of my shirt. Sometimes we were almost sleeping on the forest floor or in a midden. I normally would have tossed the mattress. But each time I plucked the offending artifact and flicked it into the darkness. I then rolled over into my mortal position and I put my arms back around you, preserving our remains to be brushed clean. And each time you were already before me in that sleep. In metallurgical dreams you slept, a sedentary sarcophagus from the nights long before we met here.
Sinners, pulling legs off spiders
and wings off moths, in
the moss-bedded cradle.
In the forest all is possible if
the forest wants it that way.
Try, try to understand what the
forest wants might not always
be what we wish. Try not to
change the forest, but live
the dark jubilation before
forgiveness peaks between
the leaves at dawn.
Originally published in Heron Clan VI
I was at the age to guard the way the creek flowed like
it was some penmanship of larger men into the brown Carolina
and since waited on the country road and backwoods bridge
to become the compassionate elder viewing young catastrophes
and stepping panic stricken out into the power line clearing
as into the incisions of the black bear through hickory bark.
Then the dogwood blossoms fell before you knew it,
and with a vomit of flora the pessimism echo was muffled
as only I now recall how one or the other will first die.
Though in that green fury I am elated that it may be me.
The revolutionist’s preference is to explode like spring spores.
To collapse like the winter buck is the blackest rot.
Such interest in the produce of minds, you know, but
Carolina grows and grows again out of the cavities of
unevacuated chests – it may only be so.