The Expatriates

My dear, it was a moment to clutch at for a moment so that you may believe in it and believing is the act of love, I think, even in the telling, wherever it went.

In the false New England forest where the misplanted Norwegian trees refused to root, their thick synthetic roots barging out of the dirt to work the air, we held hands and walked on our knees. Actually, there was no one there.

For forty years this experimental woodland grew, shaft by shaft in perfect rows where its stub branches held and its spokes fell.

It was a place of parallel trees, their lives filed out in exile where we walked too alien to know our sameness and how our sameness survives.

Outside of us the village cars followed the white line we had carefully walked two nights before toward our single beds.

We lay halfway up an ugly hill and if we fell it was here in the woods where the woods were caught in their dying and you held me well.

And now I must dream the forest whole and your sweet hands, not once as frozen as those stopped trees, nor ruled, nor pale, nor leaving mine. Today, in my house, I see our house, its pillars a dim basement of men holding up their foreign ground for you and me.

My dear, it was a time, butchered from time, that we must tell of quickly before we lose the sound of our own mouths calling mine, mine, mine.

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