From the blood of these knuckles 
a red tree grows.
Not red leaves or red flowers. 
An entire red tree. 
It loves and disdains me. 
It doesn’t sing the moon a poem. 
When I am near with my treasure map,
wanting the gold, the babe who fell
through my mother’s ceiling,
it slaps me. It eats the babe.
All gone. 
The herds come. 
The herds go ‘round. 
They know.
It suspends all treaties
in its canopy. The sky,
when it turns red, the red tree says look, 
I did that. 
And I look
through the gaps in my fingers,
no longer fingers, no longer gaps,
just nubs
upon the red fields. 

Matt Broaddus is the author of the chapbooks, Two Bolts (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2021) and Space Station (Letter [r] Press, 2018). His first full-length poetry collection, Temporal Anomalies, will be published in 2023 from Ricochet Editions. His poetry collection Deeper the Tropics is also forthcoming from BUNNY Presse/Fonograf Editions in 2024. His poetry has appeared in Annulet, Black Warrior Review, Changes Review, Fence, Foundry, [PANK], Poetry Daily, and The Rumpus among others. He has received support for his writing in the form of fellowships from Cave Canem, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and New York University as well as a scholarship from Community of Writers and a residency from Millay Arts. He serves as Poetry Co-Editor for Okay Donkey Press and writes reviews and features for Publishers Weekly. He grew up in Virginia and currently lives in Englewood, Colorado.