Kelly Zhou

I found them resting

together in the forest

            before new year’s,


the rock a metaphor for stasis

and the tree —



The relationship brought authority

into question: the rock

casting skyscraper shadows in the dusk


and the acacia a favorite among the giraffes;

its belly, where a branch might have grown,

            resting pregnant

against the granite.


                       They balance now.


It requires an over-tidying of nature

to call this symbiotic

                         and as I watched


the sand beneath my boot felt agitated;

it was experiencing the loss that comes

with independence.