On Bark and Memory

I carved our names in a tree’s fat thigh
before I left, before her face faded
in memory’s black underbrush.
She is broken, scattered

Like the little light that hits
the litter, the poisons, both
ivy and oak ooze in this.

If I return to the woods,
would I find her or the carving,
would I find gall or a sapped—
over wound? Can I cool the rash?

Image: Kenneth Concilio on Unsplash

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