Poetry at Sangam



THE ALDER LEAF by Dennis Nurkse

God asked the pear tree: should I create you?
And the fly: do you want to exist?
Do you want a hundred eyes
and a veined translucent wing?
And the borer beetle: may I make you?

They said yes, we want to live, and he spat
and sculpted them from the dust of the road.

But there were others who said no.
We don’t want names, let us be
the idea of death, a flute
heard in sleep, dawn rain
that can’t bear the burden of a self.

So God unthought them, with great effort.
A vein pulsed on his forehead.
The wind of unknowing passed.

The alder showed its blank inner leaf.

Adam and Eve moved apart.