from “What Once Was Forest”


rip up the turf

peel apart the layers
deep as I can get
knowing that creation at first resembles

everything at the moment raw
but the earth patient

bodies cast off infection
but the paper, curious
drinks the ink into itself


we settle down
finally arrived at the place
we feared existed

it is not like the rest

not like the wave
that sifts blood
from the body

not like that

but covert
as twilight

like the branches
that wait to inscribe this
in still water

we close our eyes
to better follow along

grope in the dark
and find something
only to lose it again

imprint hard
on each other
prepared to chase the tracks back out


I sit by an open window

the night doesn’t sneak in
but becomes part of the room
a bridge to the cold outside

he smokes a pipe, or perhaps it’s I
and the smoke smells like a fireplace
like what once was
a forest