The Near Side of Language

by Geri Rosenzweig

Enter the woods where it always snows.
Reckon the distance between
a fallen tree and the house.
Get down to the work, stark
as a figure in a Dürer wood cut.
Bird song flits in your ear.
Shadows pencil the white birch.
A little horse shakes
the ghost of its harness.
Don’t look up.
You are not the one
passing by, searching for a bird
three wing beats ahead,
your left eye weeping.

You are here,
on the near side of language,
a bright axe for company.
Split the dreaming wood
though snow falls on both of you.

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