Humans Naming Trees

Jessica Goodfellow
| poetry


willow, sallow, blackthorn

thought is made in the mouth


quaking aspen, silver birch

pulse is mouth in the wrist


cedar, alder, slippery elm

wrist is grief in the making


camphor, blue ash, blister fir

myth is spindrift of grief


hawthorn, hemlock, paper birch

makeshift myth in the named


linden, rowan, tamarack

name: oh torque of the tongue


red spruce, torch pine, slash pine

pine, pine, pine, pulse, pine




[“Thought is made in the mouth” is a quote from Tristan Tzara.]

Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Whiteout (University of Alaska Press, 2017), Mendeleev’s Mandala, and The Insomniac’s Weather Report Her work has appeared in Verse DailyThe Southern ReviewMotionpoems, and Best American Poetry 2018.

I Renounce My Life as a Philodendron