What lightning carved into the bones of trees: no 
legible name, no Xs and hearts, no tangible promise—

only reminder of the fickle nature of the gods; 
except they're not really gods, only a device 

some use to give a face to fate, which in other words 
is that old rapacious hunger to occupy, contain, 

destroy— after which it walks away whistling, 
zipping up its pants, on the way to the next 

serviceable object— meanwhile the trees, 
linked to an underground network spanning 

the earth, are listening to the sounds of our
active distress so  don't make the mistake 

of thinking the body, curled into itself in 
the salted loam, is failed or silenced or dead.

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