Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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     Finally to answer all within one grave!
          —Hart Crane, “The Bridge”

Don’t mourn rumors out of stone: those old
persuasions make brilliant canyoned layers,

but it was the Cut–glass Ash’s lot to pass away
along with various flowers, the Undulant Oak
& Bantam Maple (some seeds preserved

in museum drawers) to make way for other things
Nomad Crabapple. Catacomb Pine. Midwife

Palm & Midwife’s Chat—whose eggs, like dates,
were red before they ripened to an oily black.

The venomous lark & his rapturous praise
of the Upstream Alder’s bitter seeds.
A sacred tree that grew in tropic inlets:

each well–wrought oar, each carved canoe
hewn from its hard wood dozes in dust;

only fossil leaves remain among shards
& bones of the people that lived in its shade;


& So? It was poor mad Hart that said
the broken world . . . my word I poured

into the pond I entered once & quickly fled
& slivered bits of their difficult language [1]

still persist in other tongues: their verb
to return from the river without finding a skiff

became in Arawak a trope for unrequited love
in Ös means unbitten: the skin never nipped [2]

    1 with a whole tone devoted to requiem speech
  2 untasted fruit is sweetest:
what other carpels form such meat
around their cache of shining seeds?    

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