Yes, a river is a tree, a tree a river, built by source
like the river in Byzantium called
tributaries and blind offshoots.
Like that elm, closer to home, that earlier every year
then towers in isolation, each divided limb finding shape
inside the air.
And this rain slip-slipping down the window, capillary,
and bleeding out, a kind of river delta, spreading like
the rootlike veining
of the heart or the ganglia of nerve cells off the spine,
the spine itself
a slight meander, rooted to the ground, branching to a cloud.
My heart, my spine, my cloud, the x-rays coldly spiritual,
the invisible made real.
Of the six shapes in nature, the oval, the circle, and
the hexagon all close,
suggesting symmetry, endings as beginnings, the egg, the moon,
the perfect snow,
geometry and physics of completion, symbols of certainty,
the formal beauty of arrival.
That loving shape of the limb on the dying elm, how far
from where it started,
still growing, even now, toward ending, the way a river
and its runoff end.
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