you were an awkward teenager

standing isolated on the lawn

thin limbs tentatively outstretched
by the water

but in a series of summer spurts
you morphed

avoiding disease and natural calamity
becoming proud and muscular

youthful un-remarkability
replaced by physical command

when I sensed
you’d respond to a certain severity

I took a chainsaw to your flesh
ruthlessly paring back the superfluous

going even further than I thought I should
consumed by the savagery

holes in your canopy
bleeding and maimed

but you didn’t cower
or feel sorry

you took the discipline in stride
making the most of the brutality

your reach in subsequent years
becoming truly dazzling

we understand one another

I stretch out on the grass
leaning my head against
the base of your trunk

time is a flat rock you send
skipping across the water

while I hang onto my capacity
by my fingernails

autumn rides in on a warm
gusty breeze

you listen without speaking,
making your thoughts known

the sun is receding
you will start dropping leaves
readying for what winter might bring

dance with me I plead

it could be months of separation
and who knows what

I tell you that I’ve noticed . . . .

them. . . . . .

. . . .figures appearing. . . .
in tenebrous sideways glances:

at the kitchen sink,
on the stairs,
lying on a chez by the pool
standing in the driveway
on the roof of the garage. . . .

I love the way you root
into the earth
sway in the wind
arms undulating

. . . .and then one of them, female. . .
sitting at the end of my bed

with an odd smell, like buttered popcorn
matted black hair, deep violet skin

coral colored paint smeared on her lips
and chipped away on her fingernails. . . .

knowing that you exist
that your existence will extend beyond mine
that you will continue to grow and watch,
keeps me

. . . . .unlike the others,

doesn’t skirt on the fringes
she stakes her claim

asking to be looked at
stringing each fleeting moment
into an unmissable
gaudy neckless of full presence

piercing with close-set amber eyes

her proximity disorients, vacuums context
out of the room

I’m too unsteady to escape

. . . .you’ve shown me what a tree is
in the evaporations of life

she’s lying on my bed staring up at the ceiling
fury shoulder, arm and hip, warm and oily
pressing against me

with a strong forearm she shoves me
over on my stomach

in my mind I search for the feel of
your rough bark, the comfort of
your waxy leaves

inexplicably I have a throbbing erection
flush with lack of control

my pelvis jammed into the mattress

she wiggles a callused hand under

squeezing my testicles

the fingers of her other hand
push into my rectum


the nauseating smell of her buttered popcorn

that you exist as an oak tree and continue,
keeps me

tearing at my anus, using it as a handhold
she jerks me up, tosses me on my back

my communion with an oak tree keeps me

I slam my elbow into her jaw
her lips curl to reveal her twisted glee

I’m an angry green-eyed fly
trapped behind a screen
pummeling with all my might

she pins me
happily slurping salted caramel

she hovers then slides me into her pussy

buttocks bouncing on my thighs
a mix of wrong and sexual excitement

she comes first in a series of loud shutters
lifting off me

as I spray onto her dangling breasts

I can see a hummingbird outside my window
this late in the season?

it darts away

I want to run for miles
to swim in the ocean

if I could stretch out on the grass
my head leaning against
the base of your trunk

counting your branches
contemplating your tilt east

marveling at the veins in your leaves
the way they split and split in
a myriad of reflective symmetry

you judge me in a way that I want
and we return to our routines

I’m stretched out on the grass
my head

leaning against the base of your trunk

you watching me
under the full expanse of your canopy

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