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What the trees didn't tell us, we are

by Joe Nasta 9 months ago in heartbreak · updated 9 months ago
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Nobody ever really wants nothing from anyone else

What the trees didn't tell us, we are
Photo by Dylan Fout on Unsplash

I pretended not to know what you meant

when you emailed me asking:


Was it a dream? You would wake up

tomorrow and I would be in your bed,

the warm presence of my body rooting

into the mattress, the steam of my breath

forking into green sparks. Presence.

I gave you what you wanted. Was I real?


I remember that email when I walk down

Madison towards Elliot Bay.


On the one-way street, empty branches

and towering buildings take me

step by step down the hill. From here

it seems the road ends under the water,

so blue and so still, just like it did

this time last year. Winter mornings.


A skyscraper is obscured by the arms

of a dead tree. Its reflection


shows in the glass of another building.

A skyscraper is only as tall as a city lets it.

I look through the branches and see

how blue the windows, straight at it.

The shadows of where leaves should be.

Even manmade things feel natural.


Nobody ever really wants nothing

from anyone else.


*The title of this poem is after a line from “Some Trees” by John Ashbery


About the author

Joe Nasta

Hi! I'm Joe (ze/zir), a queer multimodal artist and writer. I work in Seattle & I write love poems.

@roflcoptermcgee on Instagram

@joenasta on TikTok

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