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For the Living in the New World

There are so many ways to walk through a forest—

through clover clusters, along a boardwalk

lined with skunk cabbages—to a field where we listen

to a ghost of song. The hypergreen we step through

is the opposite of Los Angeles on fire.

Any tree can become a ladder. These trees

have too many branches, but it is not my place

to revise them. I may be happiest

improvising the language a body can make

on a dancefloor. We are just learning

how female birds sing in the tropics.

Spring insists we can build the world

around us again. How has love brought you here?

My head is heavy from the crown.

We dream or don’t dream and sing

in different keys. Don’t go down the river

without looking back. There is ocean in that tree.