Allan Peterson



We call it knowledge first to be nice, then superstition

if it’s theirs, then demonic if it means anything changes.


Remember the Tree of it, how dangerous, how nothing stays

in its place once you know feathers drop symmetrically


so the skimmer doesn’t fly in a circle. The very idea

of its place is the forcing of facts into a philosophy


someone is paying to maintain. The moment the sugar

crystal surrenders to syrup out of sheer curiosity


it starts to rebuild again. It dries a small city on the knife.

Lilacs are massaged along the fence by windy hands.


You can see them give and moan from their fingers.

This is what they told us we’d die from, wasn’t it


—love, teeth first in the pinnate leaves, then the hickory

chewing on its lip lies to us again. How after dying it unfolds.

Copyright © 2003 Allan Peterson.  All Rights Reserved.

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