LEAVING THE TOPS

it’s the wrong day to open

the door with a mouth

full of questions. instead

the air opened with the

whoosh of fir needles before

the tree fell and coupled

like a trainyard into the dirt.

I’m sorry. how many boardfeet

make up your house? when a

stranger says please do you listen

first with your eyes? after ten hours

work I learned larch trees are

not a metaphor, but instead change

with the seasons, & what here doesn’t?

even the snow, & kokanee in Grave Creek,

broke down log truck & tired forester can feel the

air beneath the limbs become

brief, briefer, sudden like a tear, shortened

into a single sound.

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