Christine Larusso, Arboretum

I am blissed by my badness.
Steep tea in absinthe to watch
the fog roll off. When
I was young, I was taught to
buy stock in the tree canopies,
to bet on callow dirt as it
turned over, and over, and
over, mineraled with breath
of a new century. The ghost
of John Muir still roughs my
sleep, wakens me after
eleven. To doze, I learn
to ferment any number
of woodland gifts.
The tonics make
headlights magnify
as fireflies. As the city
builds concrete to hold stone,
the bricks pave the road to
an ocean. I was told there
were temples in the forest,
and in my own fear of
salvation, booked wheels for
a metropolis. Here: count fern
leaves, turning to burnt paper.
Here: confuse a cuckoo clock
for a goldeneye, a ruddy, or
redhead. And while we’re on
the subject of species, let’s
be frank: my toes are willing
to dip in a variety of muds.
The body is both the closed
doors of the church and
a set of wings. I am asking
to be forgiven, down on
two shins and two knees.

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