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Earlier in the year. Later part of summer, which might have as well been the beginning. Or middle. I’m still astounded how quickly it passed. Tagged on either side by departure.
What does it mean when trees grow sideways?

Here’s a poem by Stephen Dobyns, a poet whose work I discovered by a fortunate accident around the same time pictured above:



Two days of listening to a police radio
and everyone one around me is a killer. I have
walked this far, I must go slower. People
hang onto bodies that won’t be with them
long. Their own and all the others.
Give me your hand. I hold it like liquid
with the same result. My own hand drips
like water from a tree after a short rain.
Green becomes the color of decay. The forest
surronds us.

Standing on the fire tower
in the state park, I see a doe moving
beneath me. All twigs are pointing at it.
The ground can swallow it. If I shout
its sky will crumble. I refuse to breathe.
Nearby, hunters with bows and arrows rehearse
their comic lines: Who will grace our fenders?
Who will hang upside down in our immaculate
front yards? Their arrows have captured
the wind and its music. Their faces are like
drums, or clocks ticking. Their faces drip-
the noise of static on a radio. If I shout,
my own sky will splinter. Silence? I fill
my lungs like a swimmer diving to the bottom.

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