In the V-angle growth, branches shoot from branches.
In-growth, against another offshoot, rubs itself a callous-less abrasion—
looks nothing more than another’s missing parts—beauty is its few and
crossways stems. Believe.

There was no economy of choice for Judas.
How is the will-less body to be blamed?
Hated only then for the betrayal
that if he were first to die,
the story should be without a kiss.
But still a dying—
One for another,
the soil does not say which,
but the evening air fills slowly
with densing moisture, with each droplet
dropping the sound of grace
breaking contract for survival.

This is not script, but love scenes in the knots of young wood reflected in a gardener’s shears—
the sanctioning limb from limb what once lay low to the ground
Darkest interior made light—pare down now to a simple sentence the lush
for an emptiness that would echo
if this were an opening like a hieroglyphic mouth—
an oval pulled taut, over which a scarab might saunter
in ancient clay, leaving behind its footprint
of disease that reads:
“Come into existence. Come.”
Dully the light shines in the west
and we worry about the fruiting trees
and night-freeze,
planting buffers
against the cold.
At the trunks are stationed beddings.
We sacrifice one for another
without admitting this guilt—
One from one which may in the end flower lovely.
One to bring to us a scent
we can’t quite place.

The title refers to the tree from which Judas Iscariot supposedly hanged himself




  Am I in the folding pattern
where all branches converge
if one looks long enough?
Have I looked long enough?
Have I been caught looking?)

I have loathed the middle distance—
a detail rounded out—as in pity—as in the mouth an O—
as in this sad sad day and none other to none other;
you are lost to me. Have you been gone
these few years? but here I am—

still washing the dirt from my fingernails,
yellowed: I buried the roots of your dead
willow, yellowed, as I never buried a piece
of you and still you float—as in helium as in the sound
of my voice in platitude as in heavy heavy—not lead

but mercury onto the skin, poison.
It is you being latticed in the tree above me, a mesquite
now, an olive—though here imagined a leafing oak—
I have wasted this page; there is this one field, no, plane—
and however many bisecting in-roads—

you to me; me, you—
you were always parallel and so still I can never
climb on top of you—here is my arm-reach
over to you, and my fingers resting,
like a marshmallow chick on plastic grass, on your chest. I love.

Please visit; you are dust whom I regret
not touching a finger to then pressing
that finger to my forehead. Bless me and keep me.
There you are on the mantle
at your parent’s house and I and I and I buy

mulch in quantity to make greener
what can’t be but yellow in this alkaline soil
which—I am sure of it—misses you, too—your eyes
were green without yellow; there are consequences; there are spores
in this soil (settling in the lungs)(granular upon the optic nerve)

(I see and I see you)—
but I am breathing still
and still I see.




  To be found there:
a graying slight has been
axed into the turtled wood.
There has happened no archery
that claims excuse
for the bite that stands
for centuries

What else have we
to look forward to
looking for?
Helen, Mother of Byzantium,
had hold of the one true cross.
Had, as the first of Christian pilgrims,
laid down
the wooden arm
of God,
and upon a sickly woman
it rested—
the test? which of the three
crosses is true?

The sickly one has since risen,
healed and bled of assumption
(let no pagan be pacified).
She has died
but sinned no more
before that death.

She is insignificant, you know this.

There was a chip
of wood from the backside
of the cross—
true Christ wood—once slivered off
was sent to Rome.
Its former body
heavenward wrest.
(I will come to find you there)
(be found)

The mother of Emperor Constantine I was regarded as the first Christian woman to make pilgrimage.



Light. There is the Figure which opposes my placing it

on its plank—

1 a.

1 b-d.
in the distance recedes like water
down a simple slope
and toward no unearthed landing.

3 / misc.
I have watched
together with a bird
the way a flower rising on its stem
at night
releases its carbon
and waits
each stoma pulsing
as a heart valve
and the scent
of decay all around. A question
arises again
maybe there’s no one thing
(the thing which bore the wounds
of Christ)
that makes the clicking stop—the days pass

the hours and the sledgehammer of night (all around).

They found Jesus                  and Mary weeps                     to give life—
inside the wooden Mary        for that dying inside her,        the tearing of tissues
already on the cross              or for that release                   to stop or start or measure—
and dripping a blood             so many pushes                      and squatting.
that dries for centuries

how many hits
to forge the nail
that keeps her
bedpost from banging
at the wall?


‘thrush. There is the pregnant-throated
bird against the pane hitting
and there is the dust of his
gathering and coddling
and not preening
left here
in my sight.
Featherless image, as a Polaroid’s
fading, as if the backside
is pulled away from—
and the years pass
in a box
on the shelf
at your mother’s.

Oh, but maybe that’s what harmony is
a moment of two planes
meeting in image
and succumbing in that
late hour. A Sabbath, or
Palm Sunday disappearing in spines
of fronds and then nothing

‘til Wednesday.

The stomata are closed all day. And light like a deceitful best friend draws heavy
on the leaf the lie.