Perception and Leaves

Jeremy Ford


Can we give up our eyes and ears,
mouth, nose, and skin,
and find new ones, never worn;
then lay in the woods
for one day?


To see the color of the leaves
is not to know them.
I touch, smell, and taste their veins; still,
they are like foreign prisoners
and I the dictator who detains them.
To feel the warmth of the sun means nothing.
I swallow comets, but no I have not
seen Eintstein’s atoms.
To drink a skeletoned limb,
oaks of Muir Street, is no feat of mine.
I pull my collar to the horizon
and break my nose on a twig.
Back in the lightning wind moves as a glorified wave,
while I hold the pumice of a composite volcano yet
cannot release ash to wind. Though it sleeps
in my hands, hands that crush leaves.

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