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.