I write a poem were trees quiver
and sun dapples down
into some verdant valley.
I am not that place.
Everyone is writing these poems built
from bent air and spaces hewn
from alternate realities.
If trees are there, they are facsimiles.
Aspen, Russian Elm, Crab Apple.
They drop fruit instead of punctuation.
I am too envious to eat.
I often debate:
Did I give up on poetry, or did it give up on me?
Now is when I conjure some sordid image
to mimic the discomfort of a dead poem.
A slit tongue, a trampled throat.
Other appropriated tortures to hide the fact
I simply don’t know what to say.
Truth be told, I just want to write about anglerfish,
about cuttlefish, bobtail squids, pregnant male seahorses.
About phosphenes, brain stems, Ehlers Danlos.
Not the crackle of fire or the loss of love.
My dreams are awful. Why make them corporeal?
I want to track a decomposing skin cell.
Be still enough to hear the hushed hymns of caterpillars
as they prepare for their rapture.