our home’s slow demolition by vine


Dan Rosenberg

I shove through bush and bed,
stumping along our house. Somewhere
I learned not to let the plants grow
too close, something about air flow, rot,

our home’s slow demolition by vine.
I wrap my hand around a dandelion,
pull into the tension, breathless
for the slight snap of roots, then harder,

until the earth releases it, or it gives up
its hold on the ground. I sunder
something deep, throw the plant
with its knot of dirt

to the driveway. The foliage
extends. A branch slaps back,
leaves an archipelago of blood
along my calf. Another, another,

I don’t know their names, just
pull with faith in the prior owner,
in her fertile excess that even my blunders
won’t undo. One white twig

feels hollow, comes loose in my hand,
but what of it was underground is red
as a crime, bent and beckoning.
The spring’s first accidental sweat

catches in the corners of my squint.
When I stand upright, survey
my labor, nothing looks better.

Photo by Viridi Green on Unsplash