Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Maybe I like you because you believe
in artificial regeneration
which is also how I reproduce.
You hold up your hands to demonstrate what
the planting does to them, their undersides
desk-work white now and soft. My fuel load
of duff and litter smolders, unprescribed,
snags in my stand smoke up and spark. I feel
a threatened species but by such softness
as a sapling needs to be planted in
slash, quick and with straight roots. Tree-boxes cloaked
in paraffin kindle blazes in the
RV park’s fire rings, I can see it,
though you say, “Well, we’d make our own problems.”

I would, I would, I would go with you to
those problems that are ours alone and have
not yet been stewarded. I believe in the
seed tree cut, the new growth from destruction
cultivated, the controlled burn, fire-
fallow agriculture, silviculture
of selective failure. I select you.
I select you to fail. I select
you to fail me, deep in the heartwood.  

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