O Ghetto Tree Our Tree Of Heaven

by Justin Groppuso-Cook

Your leaves brush against graffiti, the gospel of blight—

                                                    from & to

Your roots splinter the concrete, sucker sulfur & dust. Convert
          mercury & refinery fumes to tissue & trunk. From your limbs:

a cadence of katydids & crickets, the white noise of something alien.
          I’ve known the terrestrial & extraterrestrial as one.

                          O stigmata like stars—

                                                    galaxy cluster of your fruits

Forgive us for this blinding lush, this red beam guiding light
          into a body bag. Your tender pith, tucked. We find no solace

in these man-made depressions—we cast them into a baptism,
          requiems longing for a violence that is brilliant. Like supernovas
               cooling to white dwarves, the streetlights chalk your outline

                                                                              in an eclipse.

                                                    Jesus Judah

                          Holy syllable Oṃ

Chirps of the AR-15, Glock 9, burst & blossom of a Desert Eagle—

                          Ghetto Palm we turn to you in the aftermath:
          a fermata of crows gather above your crown.

Justin Groppuso-Cook is a poet, musician, and healing artist from Detroit, Michigan. His work is forthcoming in The Pinch, The Inflectionist Review, Sonora Review, Ghost City Press, and Bear Review. His manuscript, “Illuminated Pupils”, was a semi-finalist for the Black River Chapbook Competition and Tomaž Šalamun Prize. More info: www.sunnimani.com.