Dan Beachy-Quick

fess charm

Dust-swallowing dust, I am,
Covetous of
Dew, a drop. Covet the thorn
That split in half
The water-bead into the black berry.

No one taught me how to darken me
But me—my tooth
The berry as the berry told me: bite

The wood-world, half-eaten, dark
. I am
What more? A drop, a dew. For one
I’d convince
The yew to bend in half its height—
To drink, and hold
With my hand the yew-tree down.

Hold the yew-tree down. Accuse: Do you see—
For one drop—
What you’ve become?
A slave, a splinter
In the thumb—
My ripe thumb. A splinter answers:
I am one solution to thirst.

I walked into the woods and found
The woods walking
In me
Demanding proof. I have a thorn inside

My thumb as fact the thumb exists.
A thorn is
Echo of the tree.
I heard, I thought
I heard—

Myself asking—the splinter not
Me—myself asking the splinter for release.