Ardor
by Al Gabor

A spent blossom will not bud again;
A cord of wood doesn't season into greenness.
So why should ardor deepen
and grow
more inchoate with age?
A thirst never sated
but growing more nuanced
with every taste.

Maybe ardor is an accident of memory.
Every sensation and every act--
chewing a stick of cinnamon,
sucking a nipple until it's a hard nut in your mouth, waking to see new snow stark
against the branches of the trees--
keeps flickering
from unique to cumulative and back again.

And the heart cannot
sort these sensations from memories.
And in this tension, this indeterminate
state, ardor grows
like the tree my neighbor
cut down,
a honeylocust that had become hollow.
The roots lived on, sending up shoots.
All summer, among the single blades of grass,
pinnate sprouts, tiny trees in themselves,
unfurled like ferns.

 

 

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