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
This infected tree,
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.