This Tree

I shake upon the branch—a spectral sparrow—

my corpse below a twisted, hollow child.

I wait for rhythm wind to shout an arrow,

and sweep me toward the body I exiled.

 

Near my fleshy, grounded shell, the cold

expels the warmth on which us ghosts rely,

that feigning sun of life begins to fold

like thirsty leaves—crushed—that gust a sigh.

 

My jagged shapes rejoin but bear no breath,

the murmur of my bones like sifting sand.

I’m cursed to repeat the moment of my death

below this branch’s knotted, waving hand.

 

The cycle starts anew. I climb like vapor,

up and down this tree until it’s paper.