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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