May/June 2018 • Vol. XL No. 3 Nature's (Human) NatureMay 1, 2018 |

The Understory

Through this window, the way she is without me in the sycamore, fox squirrel descending to the understory, quick and timorous, deep of eye, small muscled forepaws.    Past morning now at my bare white table, a window opening onto the world and finally a squirrel arrives— unfurling her motile tail with a flourish, that mutable organ, fleur-de-lis, ash- gold plume, peacocks broom, lightning play of neurons in a pleasure burst— what could this shapeshifter want?          I remember how you told me once with your eyes what you wanted, and I understood instantly— that way of knowing so entire.              Sea fog in the gum trees, autumn sun steeped in vatic mist. Dream-leaf among the quantum on the asphalt.              And I knew at once, too, the moment I was banished, though we lay together another season. How sleek my squirrel in russet and gray— is it curiosity that leads h

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