The hole sheared out of the roseleaf

by the leaf-cutting bee,

the jagged track above the grass

as the insect finds its rhythm,

dizzily trimming discs

from the leafy air,

the fencepost, still as a heron,

simultaneously considered

and rejected,

the crevice between shingles

also turned away from,

an abrupt descent to earth

below spear level,

below the congregations

of crickets,

to a chipped stone in the dirt,

its inviting lip,

the cavity precisely dark

and generous enough,

the tunneling and rolling,

the mixture of saliva and pollen,

the stowing and masticating,

the capping and cradling,

an arrangement by age

between meticulous forays

to carve yet another green seal

from the leaf of the rose,

the redundant rose,

its white weight

hauling every stem away

from a consenting trellis.

Erica Funkhouser teaches a poetry-writing workshop at MIT. She is the author of (1992) and (1997).

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