mostly i write so i can titularly quote Denis Johnson, and mostly i wake to ocean so as to know how to breathe

i know a man, know that he
exists, though know little else
of him. but
i know he exists, and
i know he works
on the rotting wood of his aged
home, in some small startle
of land in central Vermont. he
takes care to take wood rotted
into lace and encourage it away.
a huff and a sigh, wood
would delight in its dusted dance.
unknown though known, this man
removes the memory of wood,
exhausted by its duties of support, no
longer able to maintain its integrity,
though have you seen its mote-ing?
and is this not indicative of strong
character, to expose all facets, unabashed
in shameless light?

once-wood is now-removed, swept
away. new wood, which inhabits
its form in ways we deem righteous, it
replaces its tired kin. this man, the one
who i know exists but also don’t
know, he takes good care of his
wooden house, he attends to joinery and
paint, he knows the correct context for sash
and when, in an evening barn perhaps, to sashay
without being stripped of his integrity. this
man with his caring hands does not force
the wood into tremulous wedgings, no, he
encourages old wood in its failing, coaxes
patiently new wood in its headstrong uncertainties.

the window, the aged window
made of glass, well, it is moving!
that glass will eventually fatten
at its bottom, just as we all spend
our lives in varying expressions of expansion,
often unaware of the inevitability of our
inexorably fattening bottoms;
ankles wear halos and the earth
is unbothered by however long and short
it waits for our return.

my body has been molded
to bring pain or bring pleasure, rarely
is it allowed anything in between.
and wood is no longer useful
once it retreats from the confidence
of its solidity. and this man,
not known, known, he
takes good care of his wooden home,
and in the Spring he takes his kind
spirit (i know not of its kindness, just
as i know knot is stubborn to split)
and he enters a kinship of trees, he
pierces their outer layers, not too deep,
this is a blood-letting, not an execution,
and he draws forth from the sinuous
inner layers, gives outlet to
blood made fervent by Spring’s
translucent buzz-saw throat. he
collects it in a pail, his
skin still pale from wandering
Winter, he takes it to his fires,
and brings this blood to sweet.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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