The Cherry Tree


How many weeks of rest
with the sour cherries
before the summer sparks
what it can't have – sudden red
rising from the steaming ground

You can’t shut your eyes. They’re fixed
(though foreboding) on the ground forever
subsuming, reforming, engrossed in its layers
like a queen at her trousseau
again and again smoothing and folding knowing

thousand-root years bring growth and decay
to no conclusion but repetition.
Yet you stay to admire how this particular
season justifies itself before the magistrate
of the eye: distinct branches, self-defining trees


Back now on peopled street: the mass is
miniature – diorama nestled in vastness.
This city is all facets’ fastness.

Back to kitchens and quick-wristed cooks which
train palates, tongues on new-thought dishes.

Back to those on battle pay, and
those who sent them, temples graying.

These wholes will lose their parts, but live as
cherry tree will have much to give us.


The whole world an abstraction. This piece world
horizon not embracing but demanding
a sand-grained wind to tear the flag unfurled,
not suffering domestic understanding.
Domestic merely: home is not a womb
nor spouse a bosom friend. The unmet names
that know the truth of home are just in bloom
among those fields where runaway you came
to taste the flowers of what cannot be grown
except against the wall. Right there you found
what gardeners of every age have known:
since world is round its every part is round.
Each piece of fruit that stains the fingers orange
is only trap for seeds of future orange.

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