Thommy Ahneesan: “Return of a Tree 5x Removed”


“I can’t write a nature poem cuz it’s fodder for the Noble Savage narrative. I’d slap a tree across the face” — Tommy Pico

some guilt trip made me
want to find the forest.

so I tell myself:
listen to Pocahantas!

the Disney version,
please, not the real one

and get

but when I hear:

come taste the sun sweet berries of the earth

(I think: will someone call the cops?)

come roll in all the riches that surround you

(sounds expensive)

can you sing with all the voices of the mountain?

(that register would be WAY too low for me)

can you paint with all the colors of the win—

(ok. where do I sign up for this bougie art class?)

outside, the breeze
makes me smile, it really does.
but I seem to
dislike everyone I see.

the only people I immediately love
are the ones who struggle visibly.

if you’re carrying several
shitty, plastic grocery bags

and they’re pinching
the soft part

of your inner arm
truncating the beautiful

blue worms that are also
a Dutch canal system

shuttling your lifeforce
like a little boat—

then you could use some help.

you are flickering,
and I love you.

if you’re an animal, round here
nine out of ten times, you’re a deer

and you have no clue
that you’re so gorgeous

it’s arresting and we are both paralyzed
likewise, my pupils dilate,

I don’t move a muscle
for fear of scaring you.

—I know there’s a car
in your calendar,
it’s coming.

and your body will bear it.
I love you.

but everyone else
crowding the waterfront

the campsite, the park
even the rockiest and coldest

beach where I tried to
just listen

all I heard
was your laughter,

bro and blondie
canned laughter

bouncing off cliffsides
mocking, pointing, leaving
beer cans behind you.

There is a wilderness
a goodness in me

but it’s buried
under five generations

of forced removal
over an unofficial subtreasury

of missing & buried
mothers, aunties, brothers.

apparently my famous uncle
who brought the people

in a speed boat
to a haunted prison island,

well, they burned up his house.

I cannot fucking stand
you people for lighting

a match under all
those who stand

good and honest as trees

you didn’t know
a lighter

cannot possibly
burn up the past.

A Bic can only
light your cigarette

and that moment
does not last.

I imagine

you are done
smoking by now.

You are done.


(Featured image by vasse nicolas,antoine under CC BY 2.0)

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