Every plant either has evolved from a tree or will become one, & an oak is closer siblings to a dandelion than a maple. Don’t quote me on the specifics. Crustacean doesn’t mean anything either, swear to god. That’s just a thing we called a thing to understand it. Everything clawed could someday carcinise into a crab. Broad categories are fashioned
for whose convenience?
I sat on the blades of grass thinking about it until they itched my skin & there was no comfort in sitting & my shoulders were full once again of freckles or moles or uncertain
futures. This worries the difference between truth & what we can learn about it;
by truth I mean something that exists but maybe not here & by we I mean everything. Sometimes you can reduce all of it to a single object; the world, the people, the truth; it makes sense that way. I don’t know
how nuance & ethics overlap but to quote Molly Brodak: the good question is always how. The trees still exist outside, & I’ve written that in a million different ways,
or plucked the deer from their roots, easing their antlers from the bark. I should probably learn something about trees, except trees aren’t real just a plant with structures thick enough
to hollow into a home.
Passivity unbecoming of the poet, calling a creature another name any name to make sense of it. If I moved into the pond how would I call myself? You can’t love anyone without knowing them.
But that was lazy of me. Forget that ending.
I don’t know what any of this means without you
& someday it will mean nothing at all.
Wait & let me try again
Mary Rose Manspeaker
Mary Rose Manspeaker was born and raised in West Virginia. They currently live in Brooklyn, where they teach at St. Joseph's College. They are the Catching Up Editor at Tinderbox Poetry Journal, a 2021 Brooklyn Poets Fellow, and their recent work appears or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, TYPO, The Shore, and elsewhere.