It may not be the ghostly ballet of our avoidances that they’ll remember, nor the long sulks of those last months, nor the voices chilly with all the anger we were careful mostly not to show in front of them, nor anything at all that made our choice to live apart seem to us both not only unavoidable but good,
sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox
From where I watch, there are no highest leaves, no leaves that don’t have over them more leaves impeding what they open up and out for, darkening downward as they feed on green diminishments, as if dark, if it still can darken, could be itself the light the darker leaves beneath are hungry for. From where I watch even the shade hungers And is hungered after—all along the chain past bark, root, leaf, ghost speck of leaf, microbial scrapings, and beyond them, flakes chipped off of flakes off of a now- no-longer anything sucked dry, unsifted and unsiftable into so fine a green even the dark shines through. What’s hunger but a hole to fill, gravity of a self- consuming self-proliferating blind and densely tangled maze of this from that, from this, somewhere inside of which a cry for mercy isn’t heard, or is, and the jaws shut, and the very dirt becomes the dirt of it.
Shapiro has published over ten poetry collections, including Reel to Reel (University of Chicago Press, 2014); Night of the Republic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), a finalist for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize and National Book Award; and Old War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008), winner of the Ambassador Book Award.