A strand of agates, an island, in a sea of softening asphalt.
I run my fingers through the beaded rock
like water rushing through a rusty hand pump.
It belies my preoccupation with rock, tree, grass.
A yawp of a crow, sooty black against denim blue,
startles my pseudo reverie.
My heart dances outside my chest
I push it back to beating.
I don’t know this tree in the parking lot.
Its leaf is not familiar.
It bothers me, I don’t know its name.
The serrated edges, rough on my fingertips,
strokes my mind.
I casually rub it against my skin,
wondering if the green of late summer,
rich in vibrant life will tattoo my epidermis.
The chloroplasts, plant blood, oozes,
sticky in its morphology.
The nodes of a relationship:
Leaf, root, or branch?
I crush it between my fingers.
releasing emotions for the future.
Under the wind hides your voice.
It startles me and the leaf fiber rips,
leaving the stem to die.
I release the skeleton from the tree,
the rock from the sand,
and my heart from my chest.
First published in The Poeming Pigeon, the Love edition, 2017.