Dear ruefulness, dear regret, I’ve rounded
the bend and here you are again in the clearing,
each tree planted like a taper in a circle
of melted ground. How deep are your roots,
really? The sky’s chipped at the rim like an old
piece of crockery— its white band milky,
its saucer mismatched. Where’s the calico
napkin appliqued with cats? I’ve forgotten
if I’ve set the table for dinner or for tea.
Perhaps it’s not too late to take a long
vacation by the sea. A fleet of sandpipers
and gulls holds the rocks at siege. The water
asks over and over, What is the heart?
You know it makes a sound louder
than any internal combustion engine.
Here I am waiting for the skin of leaves
to split open; waiting for lightning
to marble in the marrow.