Deep in the small woods
late by spring, peering down
into the black shade of small places
where dampness floats in visible droplets:
I felt the sudden downward push of air.
Caught the glint of ice crackling
teeth, in jaws of broken twigs,
gleaming, and green with curls of algae.
Cold with absolute recognition
that dissolved in a flood of welcome logic
that what was seen was mistaken.
Before Spring closed green around you
and carpeted those icy stone knuckles
in mossy embrace
I saw your eyes,
or rather, the whole of you
a vast expanse of bark furrowed skin.
Long ago I settled
along your limbs.