Argyle Forest – C.B. Crenshaw

At seventeen the school passed my name
on a spreadsheet to the Marines
down on 103rd Street
and the recruiter called to ask
if I would serve my country

My country is names from a Mad-Lib hat
like Fox Glen meets Timber Trace
at the Moss Pointe stop
where I read the Journey to Ixtlan
and the school bus dropped the
Sugartree kids

Would I kill and kill for this?

Kids, where Rockridge meets Weather Vane
I paced and dreamed
stumbling the beat of some ancient ambition
those senseless platted roads a stage
upon which we could all enact
the drama of the self, unaware

What does it mean to me, this house-upon-house nothing?

Unaware that a forest is a system of meaning too
a trophic mosaic
a prophet-place
a profit place
a platless tract
a million sovereignties
a million names to evoke

Is it thee for which I sing?

Evoke those things which never were
like Cross Timbers meets Spencer’s Trace
where I felt the first flush of
pheromones on the fable finger chain
on a salvaged bicycle

where the road would end, and
the forest began
which is forest no more

Would I go no further?

Chris CrenshawC.B. Crenshaw is a historian, writer, musician, and artist living in Tallahassee, Florida.