The tree holds sky between its branches—
a cloud and a blue so intense it reminds me
of summer, as if it’s possible for a dying,
lonely thing to open its arms and wrap
warmth inside stillness. Of course
nothing actually works like that. The cloud
shakes itself free from the tree’s embrace,
refuses to take part in my wishing
this blustery, scattered moment into metaphor.
A long time ago life flamed complicated
patterns. There were cities, the rush and crush
of love, late nights in bars and unfamiliar
rooms, lights that blurred by or blared neon,
other lights strung across melodious courtyards.
Always there was the swoosh of days—years—
streaming between high buildings. I still like
to think about it sometimes but I don’t miss it.
At the center of the field the tree waits
with its fanned branches, its high, delicate
expectations spread so wide I’m sure
it won’t be long until night comes
with blackness and a slow dazzle of stars
to teach us about a different kind of blossoming.
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