by Joshua Kurtz
after Robert Grosvenor

Paint me a portrait on weathering steel. Between the tree and the hard place,
I find a corner to rest my palms. A beautiful thing involves no good

except itself, in its totality, as it appears to us. Write me into this panic,
this static becoming. In the corners, you can almost make out

a landscape, worn at its ridges— healing, drenched in languor as if it has
forgotten it possesses a pantheon to protect. To maintain a solid base,

carve out the muscle and let the body collapse. There are other ways
of having no I. You sit in the shade, say nothing has evolved, no

borders have been obscured. Show me a language
that confesses its violations and I’ll show you mine.

We are a point in this distance, in this tongue-less vernacular
of I wish and I cannot and for whom do I exist (no, love).

Rest these sour dictums and utter something into being!
the land, between a tree and a hard place, demands

of my toil. We are attention animated by desire, or
as you call it, suffering with legs—and this is a great

moment in time to be alive, the historian proclaims,
hand on brow, balancing on a threshold between

teleology and heart. Yes, I nod, penning myself
a religion for the shortest day of the year. Call me

the solstice man and I’ll bless you an acorn, turn a eulogy
into an ecosystem. It is a vulnerable enterprise.

And so and so it is.

Sources: Simone Weil, Terry Tempest Williams, Martin Buber

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