Firewood

Only after the bore-down thwack,
When the maul-head strikes
The most promising cracks across the wooden rings,
Does one know the cedar round’s inner core,
Whether fibrous tentacles resist the downward blow,
Or hidden internal branches block completion,
Or compliantly it cleaves in two.

A focus, a breath, a swing,
Storing winter heat,
Slow-sealed within another round,
A fragile blue orb cracking at the seams.

The eye of the round and the rings around it:
Cedar-scented years split
Into the open light.
The eye of the round and the rings around it:
Hurling winds and surging floods smash the veneer
Of a Gilded Age,
Marooning on rooftops
Faces black and brown and white.
The eye of the round and the rings around it:
Aswirl in dust and dreams and Dorothy’s house,
Pitching us while we clutch fibrously
To high-definition screens,
While we hold the hidden branches of our inner cores,
Fearful that we, too, might split.