Arielle Greenberg
Nun of the Forest
New Poems From the USA


The black water tank breathes heavy behind my little house made of tree.
If a tank has desire, it desires to expel.
If a body has desire, it desires to expel and refill.
You see how the breath goes its go: in and out.
If I have desire, if I live in a tree with scant water,
away from the people who did this thing to me,
I desire a certain cramp of bird to be expelled from out my skull,
to own the perfect faith that my treehouse is sealed in from waterbugs,
to be hushed and sleeping, to please those people
and not care about their pleasing, to be in the hushed service of pleasure
like a nun of the forest, her mute and empty palms,
her vow of silence, to simply be an aid to outer space, to be in sleep.