The last time
we made love
I thought of birch trees.

Those still, white deceptive deaths.

It made me want to bend or break
Or to collapse from my own strength.

We pretend we are too hard for this
But our defenses litter us like curls of paper.

We would deny the roots that push
Their slow way
In and through
In and through us.

Even now, my thoughts of it shake slightly.

And so become
As green and perfect as leaves.