I think it was not fit,
but friction, when his limbs brushed
my back, he was already rushing, running, resisting.
I was writing and he was life,
a teacher; a man whose shirt was always unbuttoned
one button too low. He was showing me how,
in fact, I was wanting you. Now he is not wanting
to know me, now I am growing away from him, now I am
going where I am wanted.
He was younger than you, yet, there was such richness
in rest or rant or wanting. There was my writing.
“What do you know?”
said the sister to the writer.
“A writer is a little island, a summer land,
what is a writer in winter?”
“What was I, when I was your age?”
I was torn.”
“Who are you, when you are not writing?
You are the listener, the reader, the other.”
“A writer is only one who writes.
Who I am, when I am not writing?”
“What does it mean to be a mature writer?
You should learn there are no mistakes only poems.”
“When I am writing, I am talking to you,
who are you?”
“When you are not writing, you are talking to me.
Who am I?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I am still torn; bitterness is also basic to us.”
“Well yes, we are twin cultures, where a poem
can be a puzzle, like a chemistry problem.”
“Either is interplay between the part
Here is a tree that is her horse away
from home; it carries her a way from her
home pain,this roaning out gelding, bay.
Sitting at sixteen two hands; she is higher,
safer from ants and students alike. She
is resting with her horse before the course.
She must be quiet and still for the tree
like a horse can sleep standing up, an old horse
can turn into one of the trees dotting the field.
She doesn’t stand on the second branch, it is sway
-backed, so she won’t pain the animal that way.
She is tender towards the tree, and he still yields
in a rustling of leaves and legs, he comes
to love; he wants to be her treehouse, horse, home.
She and the tree be together
in the afternoon sun. She is gently
fingering its bark; the tree is thinking only
about her. How her hands are slow travelers
on its trunk. Her hands are soft though
her feet are tough. It is the first time for the tree
being climbed. Can I hold her? wonders the tree.
Will my twigs tear? worries the tree. Oh!
She is sitting now, in the understory.
Here is a tree feeling human flesh resting,
neither perching, nor running, just resting.
She is starting to imagine a story,
where the branch before her is the neck of a horse.
Here is a tree that thinks itself a horse.
Here is a tree drowsing;
there she is, walking along the trail.
She is singular, thinks the tree,
a human, out in the heat, without a dog.
Humans, like dogs and birds, are pests, the tree thinks
heat makes humans smell most foul.
She has walked too far into the mid-west sun,
too far away from the university.
She lets out a sigh of relief
after laying her cheek against the trunk
its thick bark. The tree is learning it can offer relief,
if not to itself, to another, and that is a sort of power.
She is not nesting or shitting; she is only
resting; she and the tree together.
Here is a tree hoping
to be struck by lightening.
It seeks relief from these dog days,
when more water is rushing away than
is rushing toward it. The river is leaving;
the tree can not.
The tree is feeling invisible, to everything
Save the sun.
Once a friend, the sun is now a foe.
Isn’t dehydration, under the summer sun,
the worst way to die?
Here is a tree wanting
to flee from life, it was wanting to
flee from suffering, until she came into its life.
If horses were wishes…
I would have taken the horse
on trial, for two weeks before I left for Iowa City.
Would he stay sound?
He has four off-white hooves and they have tender frogs
in the spring grass. I’ve never had a horse with so much chrome.
He was very fancy.
How would I win the hack?
This horse would tell me how to ride him, not why. His mouth was soft,
but his head was hard.
Was he too much horse for me?
Sometimes, I would have to be closing my fingers on the curb chain,
hoping to hold him back, back him off, half halt. I must make contact from
my hands to his head. I was afraid of failing.
This horse as he was?
I was afraid of falling from him. I was afraid of falling for him.
What do I know?
I am afraid of heights, though this horse, he has kind eyes.
How like a bridge is a horse truly?
A horse can carry a person across a bridge, closing up the distance.
Oh dear, difference is seductive.
I need a goat,
to eat the gifts,
of the first year of my relationship,
green and pink lemons,
a solar powered butterfly,
et cetera …
Once, I was green.
I know better
of our growth together,
the second year of our relationship
I will leave
the real baby goat at Bartlett’s Farm,