Poets for Science
Global Gallery

Deep Cut




A stranger counted the lines of my sectioned torso,

then with fingertips coated in resin, dialed.

No one answered.

A second stranger took a turn.

I don’t remember the details but it went on like that,

strangers dialing, the ringing echoing back,

no one at the other end.

Awakened from the dream by the noise of grinders,

I see it for what it is: my tree’s root in its own bed

being pulped, tree

from whose limbs squirrels sprinted onto the roof

to announce daybreak, curator of playlists

that held my toddler in swing under its epicurean green.

Tree that stroked the attic window

to sway the girl away from harm,

sway her to stay, unloose the noose.

I watch the truck carry off limbs

still robed in green, watch the vacuum

aspirate all evidence. I never learned

its species, genus, or family name.