Linda Dove

Closing Arguments

What can we say,
O our dear Deer,

but that the bare bodies of trees
spring from your head.

Their winter shape is all
the testimony of the world—

fork after fork dividing in dark
threads, every possible annex

to open sky. From some branch
farther on, we must look lucky here—

so much slant left, so many
yeses and nos—we tangle

ourselves in want, even the heart
crosshatched with artery.