Sunday, April 12, 2020


If the middle of the continent, a city;
in the center of the city, a park; 
in the heart of the park, a dying ash—
with its gnarls of grieving branches.

Nearby, a Park District worker, leaning
and chewing on a bruised apple, 
tells me—it's diseased 
and due for removal. 

I shut my eyes and try to imagine—
a million fugitive beetles 
panicked and writhing 
in those cursed branches, 

a confused and desperate colony—
destruction in the name 
of survival. 

This infected tree, 
that rotten 
piece of fruit, these brownish 
grass blades underfoot—everyone out there 

must belong somewhere;
every broken thing we encounter 
is someone's desperate 
attempt at a universe.