The Afterlife of Trees

Left-hand prints
gag the melting sky.

Unsealed fetters
unleash mailmen—
staggering flocks fly—
to the site
of the wound.

The certificate says
my father did not die;
that each gunshot
bled a spectrum
treading fluid steps—
wet shades of a soul
seeking their passage—
from the How to the Why.

Now I’ve got unbleached
Egyptian cotton
hoodwinking those traitors
men call eyes; I’ve got layers
of letters seeking to teach
my teeth to un-eat
morsels immortals
left trailing astride
the path from moral
to un-concealed rhetoric
of diminutive administrative “feel betters”
and other warmed-over breaths
served like left-over lies.

A forest dying
itself green, will still die;
woolen from the time
of its birth to its growth

Each turn of leaf
a term unsweetened
dropped into lines
crosses the Ts, wounding
the Is. This is it;
the tomb that’s keeping
another light
flickers from within
like a divorce
where two wronged whores
use their words like fists
to beat worthless tin
into something silver-bright.

An oaken cask crafted
with maple detail
conceals a stillborn
delivered in a stable
like an error; a silenced
and unsolicited gift.

This is it; the ashen
silk—purity soiled with quips
penned like bullets—
each line coloured with bullshit.

This is all there is to the afterlife;
an act of grace razed
in a clear-cut dash
from the heart
whose heat turns to ash
each limb in its path.

This is all there is to impart;
beware, artists, the foresters
whose work whittles your own
into orphans, ignorant of their patriarchs.