City down to the last nuance is moss,
straightleaved, twisten, fossilized in travertine,
some that lives on rotting
wood or the sunniest crest in Central Park,
other whose resilience but for a cup of water is stifled.
Mosses don’t need to grow flowers
or fruit or wings – angels are or are not here, birds some –
to show continuous creation. They are not degenerate
but remind us of degenerousy.
They are what the imagination needs.
Bellevue, storefronts of diamond cutters,
banks, scripture on placards,
men shouting at each other in voices pure as iron
and tar, museums of modern art,
theatres, tacquerias are side by side,
but moss is what the imagination needs.
With buttermilk, cheap beer, or water
make a slurry. Spores will appear on compacted soil
if acid is high and in deep shade.
Hundreds upon hundreds of versions
and sillouettes will billow forth,
in a green cosmos turrets, hair arrows,
flames and fans
to grapple with nothing it has yet known.