I sign my initials for the man who arrives
he says all the proof is there. Bark beetles
and brown bristles, unshed.
He takes the tree down. First the boughs
over the street. The leader and the crown.
So many branches falling. Like the boy
who hanged himself with a leather belt.
Nothing above the ladder or the hook.
I was like that. Almost a hole in the sky.
Pills clumped in the esophagus. A boy who
could turn his father into a lifeless moon
left to orbit a distant body.
Pine needles bounce, splay on the concrete.
Neighbors squint at the saw, cup their ears
from the blower. So many blades turning.
When the man’s work is done, liquid jewels
from the fresh stump. And I close my eyes
to see the cow before she gave her life
for that leather belt. The grass she grazes
is still green.