by Derrick Austin
Propinquity: Horizon of the Thing Witnessed
-after RaMell Ross
The blue-and-white basketball shorts recall the haunches
of a man who once suggested we have sex outside, and he was surprised
by how much I liked it, recklessness as a gold leaf crown,
long denied. I remember the skiffs and shadows under longleaf pines.
And your dreams / smolder with rows of oaks, / naked to their knees, naked as kindling,
song the salvaged sycamore reminds me of, singing it
late in the day while walking my dog through the woods, each word a worry bead.
Heavy the plummeting branch, green-gold, gray shag…
That I’m grateful I’ve never seen a tree, or anything in it, burn—