Picking up silence
and dusting off its globe (transparent)
becomes more difficult than tucking the conversation
into place.

Hands are our obsession—connect flesh and shadow
to one point, space allows sensation to overtake
rational abhorrence, fear floats
away like dandelion silk.

Body—thick and rough,
brittle skin—rippled like a pecan,
knitted fabric of protection.  In mornings
the hard-packed soul seeps
away.  Generous arms weave

in movements of all that is outside—they show emotion,
leaving tears/blooming fog. A body at home. Shaded.
There is no escaping our desire to
touch trees—mimic their rough skin
in dreams, callused rings surviving rain
and torturing wind.  Burnt scabs left crushed on the cement.

The body itself is the wound,
deep and deserving, skin/hair/breath
all edges of the scab.  Muscle
tension/eye strain, pain beneath
the teeth, gentle reminders of the harbor itself.
Pain is the silence we pour listening into.

No concept of limits—trees grow sky-limb and earth-limb.
Just reach and breathe upward toward remembering
how atmospheres touched, grew from one mouth to another,
oxygen and carbon dioxide
elemental twins, carbon copies, breaths—shared, exhaled.

Cut down, sand until they collapse
into beauty, then bury them—dead
with our dead     
and our living have room,
much room, to walk, but no shade. 
Who will quit rising, which dead will bury the last? 

Tree-center hollowed out
to encase another emptied crust—interior becomes, again, interior.

Photo by antonio molinari on Unsplash

Jenny Husk

Jenny Husk received her MFA from Brooklyn College. Her poems have appeared in the Brooklyn Review, Connecticut River Review, Gestalten, Absinthe Revival, Rougarou, and Notre Dame Review. Her first book, Vocalises, was published by Upset Press in 2012. After teaching as an adjunct professor for many years, Jenny became an ICU nurse in the midst of a pandemic. Writing poetry remains a vital part of her life. Currently, she lives in Cincinnati with her family, and is pursuing a DNP in psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati.