The hour of snacks and homework and we’re enlarging the world with adverbs of scale. See how easily smooth becomes smoother, how we can silk it further to the sheen that is most itself. You are taller, stronger, a little further from my center, but not furthest (may we stop here in the horizon note of further) and you want to know how accretion applies to wild. One field left longer, one never entered by anything that sought to change it. Say wild and the honeysuckle curls round the cedar and the cedar’s silence mats a soft floor in winter whose most faithful withholding buckles the cloudhead. Say wilder and it’s less bewildering, more why, the cloud funneling now, the animals hurried into the barn, and we’re left staring at the floodwaters salting our questions. Wilder rakes its impulsive hand over us and we ride off the road in the night. And wildest, what sprung cosmos is that? I hope we never see it enough to know as here in this measured plot we keep turning the hose on the fire ants and they dutifully froth up. Somewhere lives expanses never perceived, deepest praise all the lost coasts, outbacks, untrodden tundras of this world, its earths too wild to survive us. My boy wants to know how wild it gets. As long as there is land that has never breathed in our borrowed must of oxygen, then the mandrakes quiver in their sacs; as you curl into sleep, the dryad is out there pressing her most unburdened head against evening’s northest altar.
After her husband died of cancer a woman went out to the forest
with four friends at midnight. Wine-drunk, someone got the notion to dismantle
a beaver dam. They hooted, loosening the bark and clod, undoing the assemblage
of roots latticed beneath the cold rush of water, arms blackened to breaking.
When the knotted wall was no more, they hid behind rocks where by the stars’
debris a set of paddles emerged in the fray. The woman watched the huddle affix
each brambly clump just so like masoners at work, fitfully mending it higher, stronger
within the hour, no room for loss amidst the efficiency of will and while
her friends passed the bottle and had a good laugh, she clung
to a paper birch, the sky reckless in its vacancies.