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as the golden larch grows out another spring,
insofar as the needles look gold or copper

with the close of the growing season—and fall
like the milk teeth of a mammal, deciduous,

insofar as deciduous is what falls down or off, really
what is cut off, insofar as a thing can be cut off

from its other, extraneous, as in the making of
decisions, as in the feeling of this being severed

from an adjacent feeling for that, as if these feelings
had not a common vertex and a common side,

insofar as the tree you have in mind is both
coniferous and deciduous, could it not be turning

a color darkly adjacent to green, insofar as
coniferous is cone-bearing but not also evergreen

in every case, insofar as a golden larch is real,
and real is then the feeling of those cones

shaped like small artichokes, in a mast season,
when they boss the golden larch like pieces

of ornamental carving covering the point
where the ribs in a vault or ceiling cross,

insofar as architecture might be analogous
to arboriculture, or until a wind or creature

should detach a cone, which will easily detach,
insofar as it is a golden, and not a true larch,

and once detached, will cast its long-winged seeds
to life, insofar as life is there to catch them, to heave

and bury them, insofar as actions are decisions
as to what is or is not continuous.

Sarah Gridley

New England Review

Volume 38, Number 3 / 2017

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