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Two Poems by Rick Neale

leopard trees

time. mountains in context have shadows
and this is your clue. we saw the structure
of them exposed that afternoon, walking
too slow for any kind of chronological
displacement, thank god. but the seams
of rock jutted out like protuberant shelves
of eyes, and each of them was an epoch
winking slyly at our lifetime. we walked
through a field of brown grass, stunning
in its uniformity, but the tiny square of green
by the distant lake was her favourite.
it was lined by a neat row of leopard trees,
each planted like a lifelong wager,
yet at this distance small as matchsticks.

spine articulation

i think a lot about us becoming a new creature together, the mechanics of the anglerfish but
with more wings and celestial bodies at hand. remove the subject and remove the object.
remove the skin with the eyes and link the circulatory systems. only knives could separate us
now. are we the fifth force in this physical world? ask the atoms. we are the atoms. element
around element and moving between, the way a river moves between its banks and a
tongue between thighs, fluidly, and with gentle spine articulation. the shape of things falls
words point like fingers so we don’t need them anymore. there isn’t anything about her that
isn’t me also. maybe if we’d been nowhere, inside nothing, that would be separate enough.
belong says the film against the silverscreen. as distinct from the universe as the margins of
the stars, here is our indeterminate body.