from Hangman’s Tree by Monica Youn

… I was wrong


when I told you

life starts at the center

and radiates outward.


There is another

mode of life, one

that draws sustenance


from the peripheries:

each slim leaf

slots itself


into the green air;

each capillary root

sutures itself


into the soil.

Together these

small adhesions


can bear the much-

diminished weight

of the whole.


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