The heart won’t make its point.
Why not let you go out into the sun
where blossoms burst
and rush like oxycontin?

The chickadee’s precision in the pear
chastises my ear
to clearer witness than the cat-
piss stink these beauties flush

into the air. What
would I have you say
before getting in the car? What
would I have you do

for me? Do you see
the dogwood’s sensitivity—
all these deep red crepe cups
candelabraed up

from Mrs. Abraham Malherbe’s
lichen-lepered tree?
They skewer the sky
with the austere

ash-pointed spurs
of why they’re here
no matter where they wish,
or if they wish, to be.

Danielle Chapman is the author of the poetry collection Delinquent Palaces. Her poetry has appeared in magazines and journals such as the Atlantic, Harvard Review, the Nation, and the New Yorker. She is a critic as well as a poet, and her reviews have appeared in Poetry magazine and the New York Times.  She lives in Connecticut, where she teaches at Yale University.


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