once the music gushed like rain along a gutter;
swept out, in tangles, every shredded leaf.
sky slit like flesh bled till the red ran dry
and there was only water itself, water after the end of life,
the wound exhausted.
the street drank it in till even the twigs in the cracks
grew succulent.

to an animal the rot of trees smells fresh.

so breathe like a plant;
peel back your parchment skin
and drink the sunlight raw,
set down roots in your own
dry carcass.

now the melody runs under you,
bedded in soil, in the cool round dream
that your scampering heart never let it dream.

the seasons swell your trunk,
crumpling up the concrete
like an old receipt. you stretch, a languid yawn
that takes years. palms to the shifting sky,
waist-deep in street, that thirst spools down
till it draws up crimson

and every trembling branch bursts into song.