The tree is an arbiter that
aims to leave but lives to claim.
It runs the tab of a diehard drinker,
stretching as it sinks; inflamed to the south
and slippered to the north it bears down,
bursts forth—quietly equipped for its own fires
with its own dampers; by the years befriended and by quick of day
or season’s sawing reasonably unhampered,
from the rock at its root it shoots
a stem of stars.
The animal, part dream, part
stream of fur, has swum in space and time,
liquid and air; by sound and smell
appraising earth, he pours back
every moment that
he aims forth…
From the pebble of his nose
through flowing ears
go rivulets of fur,
to then design a spine
and flail a tail… What does he see, that makes him
swim so far into the future? Something
in a tree.
"The Fall" first appeared in The Stranger.