Tucked inside a hollowed out tree,
Enveloped by verdant twigs and trunk
and walls thick with deformed rings,
I press fateful head and calloused toes
to dirt padded by eons of solitude.
I am stuck in this hollowed out tree.
No visitors grace the forbidden garden.
No jailors haunt my sylvan prison.
I see the shade of the California Grizzly.
I see my beating heart, fibrous
and embossed like the towering redwood
Whom is both my complacent landlord
And my patient, stalwart gallows.
Illusions of timid hummingbirds,
Tweeting and tapping against their
Complicit, silver cages,
Fat-cheeked Chipmunks stuffed on pilfered acorns,
And treacherous geese, pearly feathers
Unstained by deceitful honking misunderstand
These untended grounds as shut to their merriment.
The bulbous roots of this giant stretch
From Singapore to Ann Arbor
Its withered canopy grasps hungrily
Toward the taunting sun.
This tree remembers a future warmed
By a star’s kiss of hope.
Life inside this hollowed out tree
Is unbearably bearable—
Like a restless, sleepless night
And I am an insomniac.
My hollow is a fruitless tree—
It is a grand joke, a comedy
My hollow is a cold and bitter soup
It is a drought, a forgotten home,
And a child swallowed by the sea.
It is a forest fire in Los Angeles.
It is a father’s suicide in San Francisco.
It is a young boy with leukemia—
Whose parents’ savings are less than zero—
My hollow is cosmic, and a grand joke.