He impressed perfection from a distance –
like the memory of a moment over-imagined –
lording over his forest
of choked black walnuts and rotting sycamores.
His trunk stands a skyscraper,
so tall that you could climb to the very top
and pluck the stars from the sky
to tuck into your pocket for when you need its light.
But when you brush the bark,
the beauty sheds away, the more visible the flaws become
until all that’s left
are the knots in the wood and the bark crumbling away –
and an old, scraggly wound
running through the core of the deciduous king,
a markings of revolution
in the seam of lighting that’d deposed him.