This is the old elderberry behind the house. These,
the elderberry hours.
The terrifyingly green tightness of the leaves.
The blackish tint of the berries.
The bitter elderberry time before the storm.
Below the wall, the blossoms of the nettle.
The grass unmown.
Behind the wall, a room.
The stale smell of bachelor uncles.
The hollow elderberry stalk of Sunday.
The after-dinner quiet.
The reddish stems of the berries.
Their flat, insipid taste
in elderberry sleep.
Sweet spittle ripens
in the sluggish mouth of boys
leaning on the elderberry flanks of houses.