Twisting Branching Trail or Escape

Carl Phillips. Reconnaissance

A tree is being mapped here under the auspices of the “maple”.

skies beneath which the leaves spiraled like what
looked like forever, mapling even the steeper

shafts in memory, parts the light all but missed,

“Enough, Tom Fool, Now Sleep”

And this breathless seeping of syntax

the folded black-and-copper
wings of history begin their deep unfolding, the bird itself,
shuddering, lifts up into the half-wind that comes after—
higher—soon desire will resemble most that smaller thing,
late affection, then the memory of it; and then nothing at all.


Reconnoitre : early 18th cent.: from obsolete French reconnoître, from Latin recognoscere ‘know again’

And so for day 1674

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