Shore pine on the sea cliff,

perennial axletree on which

stars wheel—waves of the highest


high tide have half-unearthed

its hold. The intricate rootwork

that like sight of the covenant’s ark


none should know, hangs exposed:

rainwashed, rope-thick roots scaffold

the vacancy where cliff was, and ends


of ripped rhizome, thread-thin,

pulse droplets like rosaries broken

continually. The upper canopy un-greens


needle by needle; the low notched

branch-ends interlock to gnash

in wind. Even its sudden hush is a harsh


suspension between constellation’s cog

and log undressed by waves, ring by ring.

The immanence of no returning


deity inheres in its last distress.

It is a high unblessed separateness,

at last. At last, it is relentless.

—Brandon Krieg

Brandon Krieg is the author of a poetry collection, Invasives (New Rivers Press), a finalist for the 2015 ASLE Book Award in Environmental Creative Writing. He lives in Kalamazoo, Mich. and is a founding editor of the Winter Anthology:

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Published in the 2012-08-17 issue: View Contents
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