They’ve propped up the bent eucalyptus
with 4x4 stakes wrapped in steel,
its blossoms of red dust seething with bees,
its long skirts brushing the ground.
We came in from the east
with the sun down low
over the valley’s dry-limed earth,
over the rocks and cypress trees,
over the timeless cliffs.
If someone tells you this world’s not real
tell him to sit down under this tree,
its pods of ether, its botanical calm:
the hum of the female sweat bees
packing the hairs on their legs with pollen,
the grooved gray bark that smells like hashish,
its peeled husks unspooled and fallen.
Tell him to put both palms on his heart
and swear by his hands and swear by his feet.