Nightingale Tree


Nightingale Tree

We cover near a shopping mall,

forsaken by privilege

under the electric signs,

absent presents of soups and sugar pies,

we live in cardboard, eat off styrofoam,

adding our teeth marks

to those left behind.

Butter knives, and

dark molasses in hazy mornings

keep hunger thoughts at bay.

Breaking off bread, we talk in

ailing tales, of winding time

before clocks run down.

We link arms in a woven X,

run iron slag to broken lane,

jump a sump trickle

cracked sewer line, fresh water gone,

stolen lemons must serve.

Paving ends before the buildings do,

opened color after city shadow,

pants get dirty at worn shoe-heel,

muddy unraveling.

Skin’s not wet underwater,

no mansions on ocean bottoms,

repetition of your shelter’s

no better than mine.

We drag traps along surface

of the salt sea, over underwater savagery,

looking to catch unrooted anemone,

under storms and flattened clouds

Leaving turtle furrows on sand,

dropping a shredded net behind,

close every step up the cliff face,

over the top, down the lee side,

hoping the wind doesn’t change.

See a single ash in a meadow,

creep ahead, wash the grasses clean,

mark a line in the sandy soil.

Lie hatless, in peace

under a nightingale tree.



Carl Damhesel


Cral Damhesel lives in the Southwest American desert in Tucson, Arizona. He is a

member of Old Pueblo Playwrights and his plays have been presented as part of their

annual New Play Festivals, and also in the Tucson Community Players' One Act Play

Festival. He has had poems and short works published in the Ekphrastic Review and in

joyful! magazine.

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