Against The Bark
by BABO KAMEL
Make me wood. Make my skin hard-edged and craggy
Make of my heart a dark, lone
splinter, the leaves of this sugar maple, my green
armor in July, and let my roots be taken under the earth
on which our bodies, years before,
once lay. Teach me the trick of not-being,
of wrapping myself in the arms
of absence, make of my mouth, a half-smile
numb as a berry long fallen to the ground.
And bring a sparrow to swallow it whole.