I am watching men in hard hats and chain saws
amputate limb by limb, before they destroy
the trunk, a most magnificent oak tree
across the street—for no apparent reason.
I have admired this tree for decades, the
tallest in the neighborhood, even the city,
and no doubt hundreds of years old.
It must surely rise over three hundred feet,
though I am not much at guessing distance.
It’s wide as a massive ziggurat, and who knows
how deeply its roots burrow into the earth.
I imagine it reaching into the sky to touch
Orion, that it is in fact a sublunary Orion
itself, an Orion being butchered
for no reason, for no reason, for no reason.
But this is the way it goes with the sacred.
Two volumes of Louis Gallo’s poetry, Crash and Clearing the Attic, will be published by Adelaide in the near future. A third, Archaeology, has been published by Kelsay Books; Kelsay will also publish a fourth volume, Scherzo Furiant, in the near future. He teaches at Radford University in Radford, Virginia.