after Martha Collins

because it is to create an acute

angle an angle shaped like a

wedge because it is to give

birth to what you already know

to be expendable after it

has cleaned after it has fed

you because you are enriched

by even its deterioration because

the join might seem slender

like a throat because the bud might

seem tender like a bud but in this

tenderness you do not share you

do not share anything because even

the join is also a jamb a harbinger

of scab a rust-red portal that shuts

down what it depletes that shuts

out the obsolete because you keep

what is inside from seeping out

because you keep what is outside from

slipping in because in the singular

and as a noun you are a form

of formal permission as in why

don’t you make like a tree and…

Copyright © 2021 by Monica Youn. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 22, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.