End in Itself
All veins point to a heart in depleted rivers, in branches,
the way I was shown at seven by Ruby’s sister to draw a tree
by running many lines back to an axis. Where they overlapped
a trunk grew from the annular darkness. A single trick usable
nowhere till now, an end in itself as the phrase grave disease
carries a prophecy and works as well with a pencil as a bird feather.
Sometimes I see the models to which that idea grew, or the trees
that grew to be like the idea in the freeze-dead orchards near Orlando.
Muscadine flocking back to an arm of barbed wire. Raw wool
combining into yarn on a spindle. In feeling, a coalescent neuralgia.
Self-referential needle users know to point inward with their poisons
whether or not they can name cephalic or saphenous any compass
to the shrub-sized heart, the home it goes back to ruffled with cocaine.
A hundred dollars hits the brain like sun after a cloud passes. The tree,
sun-filled, fills the whole orchard of the body, the single and the many
trees at once for maybe an hour afterwards when a moon takes its place,
then diminishes in flashlights, candles, clock dials, down every path
at once to the root of the pathologic-pathetic-scared-metabolic-rhyming
of the literal cripple so to speak.