Arcady

I

A northern branch – rough handled – right

for curving the animal from me.

In winter she opens: one white flower.

Sticks lie flat across branches; raft

on the fall of tree. One stick still burns

a green flame, like a question

or a falling child – testing the sharp

edge, death.

Ghosts stay in the cut wood. I play

with the obedient ghosts, and never

wonder about the other child

who left so quietly

this home-made.

I take it in like apples, breaking

the falling silence with the snap of hunger.

II

The wild has entered and planted fence stone

full with native weed-fruit; the patience of seeds

is water carrying time into the rock. This field

is slipping dream toward the river – nature

deciding itself (before un-nature

is carried into life – sad monster

sewn to the wrong soil

gabbling a mixed patois).

Bulbs speak their tongues in

flower – promises of life

in impossible places – the fall

of living at the end of the

cut.

III

We lie the blanket where the ground slopes

west. It’s stars we want: they hang in the old

tree their small cold fire. We offer up apples

to the taking stars. Our talk tastes

better that way; it’s measured and means

enough.

This second skin is tight with friendship

in the hollow of words

first tested – rashly bearing

what we don’t know

as wild turns on inside us,

kids. She’s alone, breaking flowers

when the deer startles

in the dark – animal – white eyes

hot above a heart.

Misplaced, they both live briefly

until the bell of breaking glass

recalls her

home.