Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Book of Absence" (Rebecca Hazelton)

"Book of Absence"

Darlings, the forest is disappearing. Not the one you remember,
with the little girl and her basket and the wolf astride,
but the one that surrounded your small house as a child
and was smaller than you realized, the forest
you planned to run into and never out of if someone
didn’t understand you and soon. There are fewer trees,
if trees there ever were, and not the roots of some slumbering,
and the trees are cellphone towers, disguised
and blunting the beaks of woodpeckers, vibrating
other animals that would burrow with our conversations
in their small maws. Darlings,we have been talking overmuch
and the forest is disappearing. When I spoke to you in the middle of the night
I swore I was dreaming but the dream was that I was lying
next to you, and you weren't you, but an other. I said help
and you held me, but you were a thing I was shrinking from.
Our talks tunneled through a phone line like it was 1989
but now wing through the air and mingle with others
who are just as everyday and unspecial. The forest
once covered all of England but sailed away. The forest
had a peacock farm inside it with far-off calls but now
a pig farm a lake of pig shit now a green and dying bloom.
Darlings, while we have been talking at night 
when I thought you were someone else the forest 
has reassessed its options. While the little girl
weighed her basket for options the world worried at the forest's stitch
and the whole thing came undone. While you were dreaming
the forest a dream of the green bloom of the earth, I dreamed 
a conversation that I wanted to hear, to overhear 
how you've been dreaming me as a girl in the woods,
the forest coming down all around her, when 
the forest woke up and the cellphones all rang.

"Book of Absence" by Rebecca Hazelton appears in the current issue of Pleiades online.  

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