Wild Pear Tree – Kaveh Akbar

it’s been January for months in both directions frost

over grass like pale fungus like

moth dust the branches of the pear tree are pickling

in ice white as teh long white line running from me

to the smooth whales frozen in chunks of ocean

from their vast bobbing to the blackwhite

stars flowering into heaven the hungy cat gnaws

on a sliver of mirror and I have been chewing

out my stitches wondering which

warm names we should try singing

wild thyme cowslip blacksnake all the days

in a year line up at the door and I deflect each saying no

you will not be needed one by one they skulk off

into the cold the cat hates this place more than he loves

me he cannot remember the spring when I fed him

warm duck fat daily nor the kitchen vase filled with musky


roses nor the pear tree which was so eager to toss its fruit

so sweet

it made us sleepy I stacked the pears on the mantle

until I ran out of the room and began filling them into

the bathtub one evening I slid in as if into a mound

of jewels now ghost finches leave footprints

on our snowy windowsills the cat paces

through the night listening for their chirps our memories

have frosted over ages ago we guzzled

all the rosewater in the vase still we check for it

nightly I have forgotten even

the easy prayer I was supposed to use

in emergencies something something I was not

born here I was not born here I was not

WordPress refuses to respect indents and spaces. The poem is thereby mangled. If you want to see the real poem you will have to buy Calling a Wolf a Wolf

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