By the time he found the tree his head
was full of honey. Pale sweet-grass
curved over hummocks of black earth -
and under that: the busy lives of insects,
sediment, bedrock, watershed, core.
He thought forward no further than sleep.
As he dropped to his knees, spring dirt
caught him, arms out-flung, cheek
pressed to needle-worked grass.
The sleep was long, though it felt quick
as a blown lantern: the cooling wick, spark
alone in the kitchen a moment, then gone.
He dreamed houses rose and fell like seasons
of crop against sun, felt the scythe’s
momentary nick at the ankles.
He dreamed rivers edged ever closer
to where rivers wished to be. He dreamed
of songbirds plated in sheets of tin.
And then he woke, naked but for his boot nails
and belt buckle: a bracken-haired man
in a thicket (shadows pulled slim
on the hill, bees at the fallen pears.)
He shook loose his dirt blanket.
He started home.