“It’s a little alone”
We walk, surveying the trees. I survey
how a person performs loneliness
with another. Look up, you say. Look up,
I say to my body. By the time it listens,
there are barely any trees left in this city.
You are already lonely somewhere else. I drift
back down to join you. You note, all their stresses
are the same. You’re near the same age as
these trees. Maybe our work is making sure
the right things leave our bodies. Maybe
our work is making. The other day, you were saying,
I was worried I was seeing sawdust leaking. It was
just the wind tampering with evidence of change.
Missing the trees as they’re dying I ask the forester
about trees and their final colors. Look down, you say.
I’m not sure where your power comes from
but it’s yours. I think you have it no matter how
you get there. I look up. I look down. Red plastic
ribbons keep vigil in light wind. Trees rot while
standing. Standing heat lamps burn willow oaks off
themselves but not every willow oak shows. Kneeling
at their feet, the forester flags his losses. He’s not
the same age as these trees. I look up. I look down: A city
is as strange as a tree. I talk my body through this, too.