To say that trees are immobile results from an anthropomorphism that impedes our seeing beyond our own time scale. It is as stupid as the history of aphids: In my memory, says the aphid, no one has ever seen a gardener die. Everyone knows that gardeners are immortal.
A day-to-night sky fades shades of purple.
Impermanent referents. A bruised ending.
I tried to tell you otherwise, before I knew.
We’re not quite trapped, but not free either.
Poetics are drawn from our dreams: escape
and waiting. Similar to the way cat’s paws
mean rip currents. That specific kind
of dissociation. What do I want to be?
What a terrible question to get stuck inside.
“Sanity is our power of perception kept focused. And it is an open ended endeavor.” — Etel Adnan
Even starlight, and its perceived distance,
holds darkness longer
as these new days grow shorter.
Shadows spread. It’s their time of year
and we must learn to adapt under revised conditions.
The trees have begun shape shifting through color
and through ritual loss. We leave each other
in the waning dark of morning. I make the bed,
still holding warm from our collective sleep.
Our dreams now embodied and out walking in the world.
Physicality isn’t always an obvious feeling
like love or violence or how Earth’s atmosphere
blends, eventually, invisibly into outer space.
But here, now, I want to think about low-strung colored lights,
long-distance horizons, and desire lines back home.
There are easier ways to say these things, but some things shouldn’t be said easily. —Octavia Butler, Imago (1989)
The first season’s snow dusted the highest Sierra peaks.
Much later, I heard the falling morning light beg for attention.
In this origin story, and its evolving landscape,
the changing trees become the loudest voices.
I learned early that submission requires indulgence.
They called it grace, which was also a sympathy.
I remember there was laying on of hands.
At the edge of town, someone advertised a rummage sale.
Within this temporary interval of speculation,
fate feels systematic. I carry absence like an autopsy,
an examination as method towards truth.
I know how to hold time as a promise.