You have to remember the Aspen grove;
the white stalks of trees, their stuttering leaves–
the descending quiet. Vesper sparrows.
No one beside you; no one behind you.
But you hear footsteps, don’t you?
Don’t you? The white stalks, the stuttering leaves
brush your thin wrists–you turn and turn,
no one behind you, no one beside you.
The forest ascends and breaks around you,
above you. The soft underbark. Verdant.
The serrated leaves scar your finger tips,
scrape at soft you inthewhitetiletub–
The forest ascends and breaks around you;
black-white/black-white trees bowing and knotting,
their soft underbark, verdant,
as you are now– on the edge
your mother shimmering in the doorway
reaching for the verdant scar —
her black hair stings, her white skin–As-
pens twin all around you, between your palms–
Your mother shimmers in this grove —
you ever– on the edge– and
what stings ? You carve your name into the bark
to peer inside the green–to peel away
peel away, bene- bene-diction’s mark.
You, on the edge; bene-bene-diction
is all you know; Aspen’s stuttering leaves–
its sibilant sounds —holy, holy–as
you sculpt into green–
The skin itches to indigo.
The skin itches to indigo
the aspen must crumble
to sienna dust–
must i go too?
This is the order of forgetting, the one you already know by heart
The bark of the trees were black, you looking up.
There was a rim around the sky,
Your life a breach, a fallen Aspen, sienna dust spilling–
There are blades so thin they whisper; Yes, they say:
Near wild moss, the mushrooms frill to orange;
The razor glints in the terrible white.
The surface of light
Damp on your
body damp with
the surface of light
Now–we will wait: now
you understand the glint of white,
how mushrooms frill to orange
how It is given —
yes, it says: there are blades so thin they whisper,
sienna dust spills from fallen aspen; your life a breach, but
the rim around the sky split–you touched the wet black bark
of trees the ones you already knew, forgetting that this is the order of it.