Whipstitch, running stitch, feather,
chain; and leaves of the apple tree

that we filled in with close-lipped
satin. See the mercerized gloss,

the crimson lifting the fruit away
from the weave, an outline to make it

more beckoning— Within the hoop
that cinched the frame, a space

for working out the eternal
questions: what name do you give

the broad leaf that becomes your bed?
how many knots will signify desire?

Don’t pull the snarls apart, only tug
at them gently. After the fruit’s

been plucked and eaten, after the birds
have flown away, the sky’s blue canvas

does not fall to pieces at your feet.
The only hedge that needs repair

is the one that rings the sundial.
The difference between before

and after is that now, time ticks
louder. Ivy runs rampant underfoot;

thistle, groundsel, chokeweed. So much
you wish sometimes you didn’t know.


In response to Via Negativa: Sweet nothing.

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