2/1

we have to keep the trees asleep

because what if everything moved
green-lizard fast. i feel my heart
darting beneath every rock it can find.
we are so unprepared. my shoes 
are coming apart. i am far-sighted
& at a distance trees always look like
they're linking arms. they have been sleeping
but that doesn't mean a wrong sound
couldn't wake them up & then 
we'd have all kinds of new small talk. 
i rehearse almost all conversations
& i try to imagine their outcomes.
make lists of "if they say this, i'll."
would the trees want houses? i walk 
ten blocks to the park just to press
my hand to one of my favorite trees.
thick trunk. forked at the neck. 
a shoe hands from one of her arms.
i don't have a plan for what i would say
if suddenly she spoke back.
this alarms me. there should always
be a plan. maybe, "did you have 
any dream?" lately my dreams have been
too all-knowing. laying down,
i always get the sensation of falling.
as if i'm the newly oranged leaf 
& soon i'll be a part of autumn's quilt.
is a leaf like a eyelash or a child
to the tree. i guess this is conversation.
i don't want her to wake up though.
if i were beautiful & still 
& didn't need fingers i would want
to stay like that. i wonder if
it's too late to get in on what they have.
give me each season like a haircut.
my skin is as dry as bark. 
a bird comes to nest even though
it's not even close to spring.
i am eager & afraid of every 
merri-go-round. what will we do 
with all their roaming? how do we
even manage our own? i sometimes
tie myself to the radiator to ensure 
i don't wander too far off
in a fit of elsewheres. before leaving
i tell the tree, "you can sleep 
at my house if you wake up."
simultaneously i'm thinking
"no. i don't have any room."
this is how we have to offer so much
of our love. if we must. if we must.
i want to give the way apples fall
if not plucked. swelling globes 
of my sugar. does anyone at all
live like that?

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