by Sarah Burke
Say goodnight to the wind and the trees,
apples flinching on the branch; say goodnight
to yourself. Let me lead you back to the well,
the origin, quiet dark you knew once
and forgot. Let me show you the first night
on earth, still happening, still haunting
old star charts buried in the dust, insects
trapped in bottles, embryonic jungles
pulsing under highways, whispering,
let’s rebuild remake stand up in our joy
let’s dance the dream our feet remember
sing the dream our throats carried back
from the dead There comes a memory
of thorns, berry juice deep in the summer.
There comes a memory of letting go,
washing ankles under the cold white moon.
Remember I began in silence, star my mother
carried through peace and war as a child,
star among millions, chosen by chance
to twin without end, carry stars of my own.
I want a beginning deeper than birth,
deeper than history, to search my bones
for one syllable trembling with cosmic storms.
Forgive me. I’ve been terrible and sweet.
Let me forgive you. Let fall your curtains,
your clothes. Let in the wind and the trees again,
apples and branch again, let in the night.
Sarah Burke is a poet and preschool teacher living in Vermont, where the milkman delivers Ben & Jerry’s to her doorstep every Monday. This is her first publication.