At the Very Beginning
When I named you I was on the verge
of a discovery, I was accumulating
data, my condition was that of a person
sitting late at night in a yellowing kitchen
over steeping tea mumbling
as his wife remotely does the laundry.
My condition was that of a mathematician
who cannot put the names to colors,
who, confusing speaking and addition,
identifies with confidence the rain
soaked broad trunked redwood tree (whose
scent releases all of winter) saying as he passes one
From This One Tree by Katie Peterson. © 2006 reprinted by permission of New Issues Poetry & Prose.