My tree was the selfie stick,
she became my wife. She bore
the everlasting honor of her foliage.
Some evergreen wish: its violent hinge
upon my desires. We were laurels
of Parnassus. We were sports colleagues
and so of course we managed our intimacy
with chalked-up hands. The locker room’s
its own kind of windthrown forest. In the screen
my own lecherous reflection ogled me back:
the shocking fixity of my face. A river god
like most other jackasses. How boughlike
our arms flagged against the bark.
I want to talk about the nakedness
of trees. About seasonal decisions
not the moral of the story: if
you marry you will turn into an oak
or a linden. Gander the town
before it floods. For the picture
I posed as the whole myrtle alley
purpling the history of the bois.
I’m the swan in the lake. I’m a Morisot
painting. That faux fir feeling.
Knowing a thing won’t allow us
to prevent it. I wanted just one pic
to outlast my memory of myself
getting to know the grass.
When I gave up I was still
a tree. And so were you.
Katherine Gibbel is from Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from Autostraddle, Bat City Review, The Bennington Review, Prelude, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she’s finishing her MFA in poetry. Find her on Instagram playing silly word games @thingsranked.