How The World Does Not Work

“trying to hang the fruit back on the trees”
John Glenday

Isn’t this what we all do, sooner or later,
try to take back the mistakes, the words said
in anger, the sins that haunt our dreams?
But the world won’t slow down, and certainly
won’t back itself up. It barrels on, fed
by our breath, by our hearts’ steady routine.

When I hold you in my arms and stand,
smelling your hair, feeling your body
cave against mine, I like to believe
that, somewhere, a rock crumbles back to sand,
that a maple tree collapses into a seed.

In my dreams, I return the apples to the high
branches, the petals to their flower stems. I squeeze
the robin back into its egg and imagine a bird’s song
dissolving in the wide open sky.