In April the vines twist outside our house
Each time we leave for coffee or beer we return
To find they’ve grown longer and more intricate
Cleverly stagnate when we’re watching
When the center droops and threatens to break
Under the weight of itself
Daniels ties loose ends together like dignified rope
Or a father tying his son’s shoelaces for good

The nights are still cool and disciplined
Best for campfire-less silence and rubbing
Bare feet together during each breeze
Daniel and I contemplate the day
And then the next one
The changes between are only tick marks on trees
But inside the thick wood, another ring is forming
Faintly at first—like the mark around a finger
After you’ve cast off the band by the kitchen sink

Daniel’s worried his job will take him nowhere
I am frightened by where mine is going
And somewhere between, our dog holds the answer
Back arched in simple truths, paws sprawled out
To stretch the sunlight a little longer
We both like to tell him that all dogs go to heaven
Though we agree that heaven does not exist
Perhaps this is what it means to love something
More than the truths that have come to mark our wisdom

The end of spring is already here when the vines become
Entwined with the tangle of bushes in the back corner of the yard
Daniel speaks about it to me through a crooked grin
Like he built the green hammock when I wasn’t looking
When the night is humid like buttered toast against my skin
He says he knows where the vine will extend next
How powerful that makes he, and us, in theory
Until I see the dog sniff underneath it for buried twigs and treasure and
Signs of new life that we’ll never see.


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