Maxine Chernoff Ascent

"to divide and to bring closer" —John Taggert

Named trees witness an eternal present

above their faces, each earlobe memorized,

each curve their hemisphere made whole.

Darkness undresses the intermittent wind,

tearing the story's future: each loved object

a voice in the leaves, tender and green as its motives.

I would be a lamp for its passage from illusion,

the story lifting itself above the telling,

desire an accretion of love's present tense,

each word a bridge to the next erasure.

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