HANNAH STEPHENSON


SURE, PAL

Do you know how the world is held together
We live in a shrine to light

I put my arm on the tree’s arm to tell it
what love feels like

We land on photosynthesis
That’s exactly what it feels like
Like your body wants to outgrow itself
Like your love is recognized
and you are offered weather to glorify your experience
of the beloved
and also to heighten your experience of the world
without the beloved

The tree can’t stop laughing
 
 
 
 
FAIRY TALE

Long ago, magic swam through tree roots
and rivers and stones. Science slumbered

underground, a hidden well. The woods
were the place where life happened, slowly,

or the field with the woods nearby, visible.
Even hundreds of miles away, sixteen towns

over, the same woods. A little house there,
within the woods, criss-crossed branches

above that do not block out the sun. Garden,
shaded rooms, white curtains like hands

accompanying a voice saying I don’t know,
could be that, could be this
. Then the family,

beginning in kindness and love, a daughter
of a farmer, a boy with an axe and candle.

There is a baby coming to them, working
her way through the underside of the world,

untidy with thickets of thorns. When she
gets here she will have to learn how to live

without every being she will come to love,
her father and mother, the lambs, the sparrow

she heals. The magic helps her find food,
but cannot make the dead return. There are

arrows and there is poison. The hardest part
is leaving the seed in the ground to see

if the magic will work. You have to forget
it is out there. The dark forest can keep you

safe at night. Let the dirt pull at what hurts
you. You came here for this pain.
 
 
 
 



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