Nick Courtright

I have shut off the grove, and the light.
For once I allow the night
its effect on every bowing branch. When I say
you are enormous, I mean you are the tree.

On the path the dogs have come
and gone, their tails whipping like emeralds
thrown in the time after money. The dogs lay
beneath the leaves, eating oranges.

The oranges could be you. The oranges could be.
The oranges could be you as a dog
or you as a fierce cup of a thousand leaves.
Those thousand leaves watch the night, too.

But today, let’s not lie. Let’s fall
into a stark raving madness, like children
whose hands are on fire. We can watch them
as they fly through the grove,

catching every blade with dancing fire-hands.
See, when I say dancing I mean you
are the strongest tree for a billion acres.
When I say dancing I mean you are wood.

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