Tuesday, April 09, 2019


John Rusk, "Trillium chloropetalum," 2014

Darkness is almost absolute in the understory.
Here, where I don’t cast a shadow, where the
Catherine wheel of needled branches breaks
the winter sunlight on its way down, bleeds it
of warmth til it’s frayed and pale as mycelium.
Near where summer’s wildfires stained our lips
with tarry soot, made it impossible to speak.

But this is how we’re born, from this darkness.
Juncos tell me seeds have burst their jackets so
they must fly towards higher ground, the rising
wind lifting them like samaras above the earth,
away, away—and here, love, the understory’s
long night is now starred with white trillium, a
scent that pitches me headlong into bud-break.