Decompose: Of Immaterial Things

A hope of leaves and hollows,
a breaking nest, a crest of granite
and unquarried moss. It’s soft
wintering a shade between green
and gray. The hope of colors for
which there is no word develops and
then fades. Uncaptured and un-impressed
in a kind of precision in dissolution.
Or in silence and the desire to trespass
and hold where the roots’ incision splits. Some
inevitable gesture or quantity in monochrome
and grateful light. And still the distance
between tongue and sight contained
in each body and measured as a factor
of attempt. Approach. Carefully mantained
first to shimmer and then break at the horizon.
Where the eye seeks motion, a threshing up
or fluttering, or blurring of wings and leaves.


Copyright © 2016 by Erica Mena. This poem was commissioned by the Academy of American Poets and funded by a National Endowment for the Arts Imagine Your Parks grant.

About this Poem

“I was walking on the trails and thinking about how few words there are in English for smells, but so many for colors. And even with the wealth of language we have for color, we can never really capture it. In the fall, with all the leaves on the ground, and the cloudy sky, everything is a bit dull, but when you look closely you see that each leaf is its own shade of brown or yellow or red, and each patch of moss is its own color, each grey slightly different between stones and sky.”
Erica Mena