An old man is educed
into the light and water corridors,
He passes into
being another being’s way of
becoming a passage, borrowed and
beginning again as animal.
He becomes a passage for pattering rain that
fell through a many-lobed canopy
before it kissed the stream’s soft lips
before it became thirsty blood or the
shimmering grace on his hands in the eddy
As the Earth turns the sun’s disc
peeks over Tussey ridge to greet
kneeling where Queen Anne’s Lace and chicory meet
blueberries and laurel before
the swamp white oaks’ upward thrust.
He kneels where nine species of bees, wasps, and flies
feverishly drink sweet nectar.
He kneels where the spider’s hunger
becomes his own, hunger. The fly’s iridescent patina glints
as it dies, drunk in the web.
He kneels where needle-festooned soil
becomes the blueberries, becomes
his body, her breath his breath.
He kneels knowing
He stands and runs his fingers’ pads through the
bark’s channels and crenellations
inviting his body to be the difference
between tips and nails, nail and bark, bark and lignum,
the lignum and
Men in worn denim, men—yes
into cabs to rip the soil.
A man grips
a plastic-topped shifter.
his feet on the bulldozer’s throttle and
down the trees whose roots were threads,
woven together as stitches.
A man unstitches
and frays the soil for
grab the blooming laurel by neck,
push the deer’s teeth to the curb,
force the toad’s tongues to lick the road salt,
and the tanager to
the sweet antifreeze and thick scent of tar,
and then the men
again until they’ve
as many jaws, teeth, and necks to build
the walls to the fortresses we call offices as
Some men keep writing
rules so the winners can have
some men walk the hallways to join
some men in rooms designed to facilitate
some men protecting the
rules they built for
some men with machines could unstitch the soil to build structures
some men.next to curbs where constant, roaring traffic
rules the roadside chicory, where
the stream greeted