Summer nights much easier
for these six or seven, alternating
unpracticed arcs, each heaving his
young weight and inexplicable blade
awkward into the honeylocust
planted between apartment stoops
and subway stops. A bike bolted
to the trunk: the only calculable target
for this aggression or revolution or willful
purposelessness. They want to chop
it down. They want to swing and swing
and swing, watch green underbark
give way to heartwood.
Bodies sweating under streetlamps.
When the tree falls, it’s anti-climax,
slumping to the sidewalk like a man
who’s had too much to drink, or
who’s just tired of the same buildings
on the same walk in the same city.