Back to Issue Twelve.

IN RESPONSE TO TREES

BY LISA HITON

 

In winter I knew them all
as one dead thing,

but now I love to watch them blossom.  

The shortest tree 
seems Japanese, translates

beauty into sunlike white and pink.

I lie under them
deciphering

their shapes. How to give a name 
to something you know so well: Mother, 

I know you are afraid

of my love
when I watch the little round discs fall

suicidally toward me.  I am afraid

of what I might call them
while they are in the air…

                         Mother, I want to call them,
my Katarina, my riad, my morning floor,

tiny petals like eyelids
dropping down.  The first time I dreamt 

of falling
it was peaceful like this:—

nameless world, filled with green light…

          by what name, Japanese tree,
by what name, Mother?



VARIATION ON TESTIMONY

BY LISA HITON


I turned before I got in the truck, and in the moment before 
desertion I noticed his hair: dunegrass, the blonde arcing, the only thing left 
in motion.  I get hard.  I get gone—

the tires screech and I’m watching the dream in third person:  pan out 
on dust rising over God’s country.  God’s country.  Later,
the body will be shittied by birds. The fence without varnish 
                                                                                          digging into his spine.     



Lisa Hiton holds an M.F.A in Poetry from Boston University, and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Linebreak, and The Cortland Review, among others. She has received the Esther B. Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center, and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize.