Unsuited Pair

In my lapses of longing
you take the shape of a tree,
branches stretched wide across the child’s
sandbox where dirty toys lay half-hidden, corners
red, the outside a black plastic where on hot
days it burns real bad and the children scream.

But in the arctic frost of New York winters,
the obsidian black of your dying bark reminds me
we are living in the present
and I cannot undress your night.

My limbs are willows
that will not bend
like bamboo, already scarred too much
to take your void of space.