Alison Daniel


I used to think branches meant hands
and that hands would lead to ancestors if I looked closely
at each line, how they knit and knot.

The sight of teeth and bones; all those rows
of ancestors grow when the pad
of your palm is pressed.

We talk about how things begin,
how they end. We talk as if any day
small sacred scenes will never leave.

Blood heats the instant I hear those sounds
you make with your mouth
closing mine, or when your fingertips

knead as if planting seeds
in grooves that could be groves.
Between each gap of open lip,

sweat saps sleep. There is only
birth and death. Our bed is a crypt
exposed in the jut of hip,

and when we lie on our side,
we speak the ancient name of trees,
pretending to know what they really mean.

Location: Australia
Publications: Stirring V2:E10, V2:E11, V3:E8, V3:E12, etc.

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