from Formerly

by Tamar Yoseloff


The trees imprison me, rigid wardens.
I match them in my stillness, my stiff
resolve. The marrow of the dead
seeps into their roots, they carry omens
in their leaves. I cannot leave

as long as they are watching.
They smuggle night inside their trunks
and in daylight, crowd the glass with shadows.
They reflect their frozen sky in me,
my sightless eye, my hardened cheek.

The bars caress my face, a grid of days.
The world is square, like the map
that shows us where we are: I am here.
You are somewhere else.