Calling Thee to the Deep Woods (Pan to Selene, After Virgil)

Come down, come down, to the you-lit pines.

Refuse not the silver-leafed manzanita
embracing with its muscled song-lines.

Come to me, if you must, incognita,
but come to me.
I’ll lay you down in wild-
fire and lightning.
I’ll bathe you in thunder.
I’ll whistle you glistening and slide
your regolith skein.
I’ll up and wander
your crescendo.
I promise to howl.
I promise to beast both bark and bite.

Come, let’s shadow our shaggy growl.
Come, let’s rattle the shackled night.

Let’s pretend we’re the missing parted.
May we sliver granite cloven-hearted.

[Matthew Woodman teaches composition and literature at California State University, Bakersfield.]

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