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A Lacework That Has Unraveled / The Bitter Bark of Trees

Caught minnow,
glass bottle with a chink driven out of the bottom,
abandoned in the limestone ford,
rusted to one solid object.

What keeps losing itself is not lost,
the star of candlelight through a hole in the wool
curtains where a moth has eaten through

vanishes and reappears. In the dark
dirt at the roots of spider lilies cryptozoa
spill their terraced cities over
decaying leaf matter. Every thing
betrays its history for a different past.

Like a rift of rust cut through the rock,
staining orange, the metal has left
its indelible imprint on the stones
covering specks of Precambrian insects,
the tiny capillaries of their paths. What asks

for memories such as this: trees, their shadows
cast in moonlight across the walls of my room at night
in a gentle, paced motion, then pulling—shuddering, suddenly

that it comes, turns strange and unexpected.
Far into the evening
threshers cross the fields
turning their spired,
medieval gears. Their headlights are steady as a man
plodding, a hundred years past, with a lantern
into the distance. He is crossing familiar fields,
tracing steps in the dust of familiar roads. One
cannot say when the path he follows turns strange,
when the steps he takes are no longer his own.
Posted 07/11/09
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