THE UNCIVIL SHAPE OF PINECONES

from the crotch of each branch
they hang above us in pairs

from what I’ve read of the old lore
the right and left testicle

are also aspects of god
shattered and holy and withholding light

linked by the thinnest of threads
to what is infinite and unknowable

or so I’ve seen in those holy diagrams of the body
mapped by minds given no rest

from sadness or symmetry
wanting proof of what is not

by pointing again and again to the visible
obsessed with the nearest object

every detail backlit with possibility
a sense of light spreading its fingers

between the branches before us
and above us they reoccur in clusters

each attached to its sturdy wing
wooden blade keeping

some central wildness hidden

in plain sight against the sky

crowned turrets of a fortress
shielding the royal seed

from that which would make conclusive
any single moment of unearthing

that would attempt to do anything
to resist being consumed by that vision

its shape waiting inside
for the necessary flame to open

David Feinstein