on trees and after-school snacks.
We bunked in trees after saying
“screw it” to my forgotten flashlight.
The canopy circumvented any vernacular
left breathing after occupied tongues.
The minute hand yawned and kicked rocks
at the moment we decided to stay forever.
Someone fucked up because the sun rose before it set.
We knew it, too, when the
mourning doves were already out and
it was the worst kind of irony.
Upper-level management pardoned the lunar absence,
so we backseated tomorrow’s duties
and left schedules under the seatbelt holster,
buried next to grade-school cheese puffs.
A tree bed to get our feet wet.
for rejects who hadn’t
had the chance to bleed yet.
A pear tree bellowed during evenings of one-syllable months.
Hometown cicadas cheered while I snooped for fruit
that would hold together for longer
than I knew how to count.
Memories scrapbooked on four floors. A field trip.
There were many of them once, we were asked to believe.
Older than you. Than me. Here, this one!
All you had to do was count its rings.
Industry is vital to market progression.
Eagerly stretched fives for a chance to demonstrate.
A pair of us to push and pull the dulled saw
along the guided path.
I hadn’t noticed my outstretched arm.
We pushed and pulled, and it wasn’t as hard as we thought.
Cheers from the homeroom faithful and then
we patted ourselves on the back.
The hum of pistons ceased—the final stop
on the car ride home. Only then did I understand
the muffled edges and predetermined motions from earlier.
There were no cicadas in the offseason.
Trampoline leaves since cradled in brown paper gowns.
From the tinted window, I saw our stump.
Crumpled plastic cut the silence. I finished my snack.
Even then I knew the rings weren’t going anywhere.