Pear Tree

Victoria Chang

This squirrel has a dark patch on its face. I doubt that it
is the same squirrel from yesterday. Maybe we’re not

meant to be anything but many people at once. Our
selves at odds with our other selves. On the best day,

their sullen backs to each other. I face the other living
eucalyptus in the backyard. Aware of my back to the

missing tree. I have never once written something
slowly, due to a fear of being corrected by my own

thinking. I know my overwriting has something to do
with the tree and its absence. A new desire to grow

light. What am I if I no longer need my dead parents? I
have lived a thousand lives since then, exterminated

two thousand stones. I now have love all to myself.
When you have love all to yourself, you have so much

of it that it's no longer just a premonition of itself. It
starts to mingle. Like Klimt who gave the Pear Tree to

his mistress, Emilie Flöge, but continued to visit the
painting, filling in all the bare spots. So that what

remained was love on top of love and more pears, all
the sunlit pears.

Victoria Chang is the author of the book of poems, With My Back to the World. She is the Bourne Chair in Poetry at Georgia Tech and Director of Poetry@Tech.
Originally published:
May 1, 2024


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