Down here, sand slips free from the shape
it took since last rain,
a low creek creeping up the bank
sloughing away any illusion of permanence.
The soft, fat hide of the earth glistens, catching the stray glint
and tossing it back, wild and wide.
Something buried in the thawing deep
scratches away at its carapace.
I press my spine against the old skin
willing it to split even though it is early still,
even though it will leave me raw,
Another frost sure to come.
The murk seeps up through
where we lay in a small pocket of light
trying to hone our dulled senses.
Bare limbs against a lavender sky.
A high breeze stirring crowns of thread and thorn.
We notice how each tree moves in its own way,
our primate brains discerning an Each and an It
where nothing of the sort exists.
Into their sway and stillness,
you say, I wonder if they like it when they touch,
and we marvel at the impossibility of the question itself,
how no tongue can bridge this distance.
Our meat and theirs
separated at birth.
To this stand of things whose only name we know is one we imposed,
how would pleasure translate?
Bunched around each other, each beginning
from the fallen seed of the next,
roots a tangle of thirst
drinking from the same source —
that thrumming warren of beetles and refuse,
lost things, rot.
Here in our fragile, unfixed flesh, we try to follow
each limb to its trunk,
imposing that and this, each and it,
a taxonomy of parts
edging a primordial organism that would go extinct
if so severed
and quite possibly will.
As if our blundering notion of connection could even begin to trace
this intimate lacing
of meristem thread and cell mapped across the sky,
What is the word for desire when the only choice is to entwine?
Can you name the proclivities of untranslatable you?
Do you like the grip of your heart’s own muscle?
Blood sweeping along the veins?
Are you fond of those pores breathing open
as your fine fur lifts to a chill
swooping low across your wrist
where it rests on the damp earth
beneath my shoulder?
What carries the sky from those distant tips
down along the dark reach below us
can teach us something about how to shed a constricted self.
About how to belong to exactly what holds us,
and forget the word for love
because it is the same as life,
it is the same as bending to the gust
and falling open as light, slipping past,
graces our one shared skin.
Image: Daliana Pacuraru, Hidden Life of Trees and Rainbows