Once again we are in these woods
that give boundary to the darkness.

The hill is layered with grass, boxes,
in them, boys, both short and long

dead. There sits a young man, alive,
around him the trees shokl, he holds

a pack of cigarettes, which he bought
because the brand shares his family’s

name, smoke and pine, hey, Rothman,
mutter the maiden names of the hills,

try to write a poem about what you saw,
fail, recoil, (you’ll still be trying in a decade),

now the wind is heavy so he looks around,
sees a cave, climbs into it, lights his name-

sake smoke, inhales, writes, “If gummy
worms had spines they’d be cigarettes,”

he sees a mattress in the cave, thinks that
maybe he could make it part of his poem,

which was meant to be about how it looked
like a yellow animal (the bulldozer)

sinking its big teeth into the family’s
kitchen, how if I had a spine I would

have stood in front of the bulldozer, how
if my life had taken two more right turns

I would have been the boy with the gun
marionetting a family into dance: back,

away, now stop; it was their shoulders
that angled and contorted, not the soldiers’.

The shame in your shoulders even now,
ranging upwards as if to swallow your neck.

Maybe the mattress-owner is still in the cave.
You don’t want to upset anyone, and you’re

scared too, you’re always scared these days,
so you scuttle out to inhale the scent of pine,

instead you smell acrid mattress smoke,
you realize you dropped your cigarette

and before you know it, Jerusalem
had burned down

iiiiiiiiiiiisorry everyone.