Some things come out of no place:
a jerk and a brake:
a flash and a fire:
a text and a heart bends itself in two:
the monster came with the rain,
the night bright blue then gray.
Soil on the hill tripped over itself
and the great black walnut
nesting on our back forty forever
took one tentative step,
then three and when it reached six
blocked its fall against the roof of our old barn,
roots separating from the ground
where they had always planted themselves
and let its buried essence breathe the flesh of air.
Beautiful things cannot retain their beauty forever
like a mountain pass, a blue green river,
the face of youth aging into thinness.
The Asian mulberry tree nearby did not let go of its fruit
and the purple sand cherry in the front yard hung to its seeds.
When the madman passed,
the rain slowed to a stroll in the park,
our tree changed the focus of windows,
one limb now pointing straight into the air
as if it were a middle finger and knew how to shout
because after all what holds more beauty
than a middle finger across a palm of sky.

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About the Author

Michael H. Brownstein's latest volume of poetry, How Do We Create Love? was recently released by Cholla Needles Press (2019).

Michael Brownstein
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