We agreed to meet in the forest to talk. The sun
is setting. Wild irises on fire on an April evening.
Moths flutter on my bare arms, dusting me off.
Romance slinks into a hole as darkness comes.
Smells snaking out of flowers, green buds everywhere.
You walk toward me, evening settling over your head
like a cap. Chirping stirs the wood as the sun falls,
and the moon shows where she was all along.
You’ve been waiting for my answer, I’ve been spacing out
on nature, trying to siphon life from the oaks.
I remember when it was enough to sing sad songs
about toiling, I remember when it was enough to sing.
Joy is withered away from the sons of men. The bark
of the oak tree splits, spits out its hand-carved loves.
All that’s left is the happiness I have here with you.
All I’ve ever wanted. Of course I wanted this.
We don’t know what we want. Picnics fold up,
and go packing inland. Rains come, and we weep.
Rains come, and we rejoice. Dogs bare their teeth,
yank their humans closer. Glares shoot out from cars,
from banks, from mirrors. We move through lines,
and call out the time. We know the stories.
They tell you marriage is this cliff you’ll fly off,
leaving your burdens and bad luck behind.
But all at once, the whole world flips, and the cliff is
a wall you must scale, claw at. And this is happiness:
to be with one’s burdens in a familiar place,
with a brood of wounds that won’t desert you.