Now I Am Ready To Tell How Bodies Are Changed Into Other Bodies.
Plane trees are dressed for severity;
snow drapes their sturdy shoulders
like wool wraps. Twists of collarbone
lie exposed, each vein coagulates
in the cold. Even their bare bodies
look alive against stormed skies.
To better survive concrete and smoke,
the native sycamore was crossed
with an Oriental. Lost in the transfer
to urbanization, my name changes
as the plane tree’s. Time requires
my body as a sacrifice. Or is it love.
Most century-old sycamores are
hollow at heart, not by scythe of shit
and smog but as a shield for swallows
and swifts. I watch their bark gleam
like picked bones at midnight, clicking
to the tremors of the blizzard. This
is how I console myself along with
the fact that sycamore wood is almost
impossible to split. Yesterday I saw
an aged plane tree at the butcher’s,
a bloody block, atoms still tightly
wound, endlessly hacked. I thought
of how it didn’t stand long enough
to become a hive for swallows and
squirrels but bleeds now through
other skins. After not eating meat
for years, I bought a rack of lamb.
The butcher tucked it in brown paper,
made a swift knot of twine and
wiped the blood on his apron.
About the Poet:
Natalie Bryant Rizzieri is a poet by morning, an activist by day, and a mother by night, except it isn't quite as neat as that. She runs a tiny group home called Warm Hearth for orphans with disabilities in Armenia. She also spends her time, at least in spring, digging for earthworms with her two sons and husband in Queens, New York.
About the Sound of Sugar:
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.