She Told Me the Earth Loves Us

She said it softly, without a need 
for conviction or romance.
After everything? I asked, ashamed. 

That's not the kind of love she meant.
She walked through a field of gray 
beetle-pored pine, snags branching

like polished bone. I forget sometimes
how trees look at me with the generosity 
of water. I forget all the other 

breath I'm breathing in. 
Today I learned that trees can't sleep
with our lights on. That they knit 

a forest in their language, their feelings. 
This is not a metaphor. 
Like seeing a face across a crowd, 

we are learning all the old things, 
newly shined and numbered. 
I'm always looking 

for a place to lie down
and cry. Green, mossed, shaded. 
Or rock-quiet, empty. Somewhere

to hush and start over. 
I put on my antlers in the sun. 
I walk through the dark gates of the trees. 

Grief waters my footsteps, leaving 
a trail that glistens.