one by one i invite the willows inside.
they had begged for days to become
house plants & each day i said,
"there is no room." i did not mean
inside the house but rather in my heart
for another being that might catch fire.
they brought records. listened
to smooth jazz in the sun room.
swayed & told stories of being
jump ropes. i tell them about how
i used to be a spoon in another life.
stirring. that is why i'm always stirring.
the willows want to bring friends.
the white pine & the red oak.
i cannot say no. i cannot turn
anyone away. for so much of my life
i have been the cut-back plants.
watching my head turn to dust
& waiting for another to grow back
in spring. there is not enough help
for all the hurrying. pine needles
on the floor. we eat girl scout cookies
& crab apples. we sing a round
of row row row your boat. there isn't
enough hours in the day to devour
what we need. i need butter
& a candle made from tree sap.
i spit sugar cubes. save them for later
to place under lovers' tongues.
the trees continue. curl up next to
the potted basil & the succulents
in their tea cups. we no longer need
the windows. we are our own windows.
i ask a holly tree. "what is the world?"
she laughs & says, "i do not remember."