And they said they wanted to write
My poems for me
And chew my black tobacco
And drink my honey tea
But friend O my friend
My words are mine alone
Though yours may taste much sweeter
Their seeds to me are as stone
So leave me be, let me see
The world with my bit of error
And write with a trembling hand
All that I feel of terror
And be true as a single-faced coin
And roll in a scentless sea
And come as a corpse on the other side
Dead and yet so free…

Of Bones Beneath the Branches

There were cypress beyond the city wall
With cones like eyes upon them
And I tended each for long until I felt
They saw far too much of me
And showed far too little of themself
(Those leaves with their whispers and those roots with their secrets)
So I did not water come the summer, I did not water come the winter;
And the leaves, they yellowed and fell,
And frost took the roots
Slipping needles of ice into their breaths
Till decades were laid silent
Like sand beneath the ocean.
I walk beyond the wall now and then
Dressed in nothing but the evening
And stand under the cypress
And watch the antler twigs sway
Hiding nothing now but melancholy motion
The sense of sleep
And I wonder at the difference, if any, between our shared nakedness