At night the moon blooms like the shape
of a mind.
There are fragments of words
beneath tumbled apples
fermenting by the stream's edge.
I count wasps landing on the rotting fruit,
separating the remains into different
stages of decomposition.
And once, in late evening, I watch a coyote
feasting on a dead doe at the wood's edge.
The coyote has the face of an old man.
Or sometimes it is morning and I write
about the discarded skin of a hognose snake
by the fallen hickory.
Bacteria and fungi are claiming
the dead wood. Witches' butter, split-gilled
Or I write about my youngest child
and what comes to mind is dandelion, feather, dragonfly.
Or about my wife: leaf wind, stream, alluvial.
Or sometimes it is winter and the ghosts
are riding the snow coming down.
There is something here they forgot,
something that spoke to them once.
The flakes become whatever they long
to become, the ground accepting
whatever it can manage, clinging.
And I listen to the ghosts in the woods
then try to write down what they say.
Snow in winter like a doe's underbelly.
The skittish coyote with its blood mask.
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