Nature Documentary by Elizabeth Onusko

According to the narrator
forests are not primarily
sanctuaries for human psyches

but places where pygmy owls
continuously surveil
yellow-necked mice

and lynxes surveil
pygmy owls
and all are at risk

of having their deaths filmed
what exactly makes
a mouse happy

can there be
more of that
in the world

I like best the flowers
I buy for myself
tonight a dozen

white anemones
keep me company
while you sleep

alone in our bed
you did not say
goodnight to me

in forests
trees perceive
each other’s vibrations

at frequencies
out of range
for our ears

if I could carve
from a maple
a violin I would

play it for you
lightly until dawn
and you would wake up

and the room
would smell of resin

Elizabeth Onusko is the author of Portrait of the Future with Trapdoor (Red Paint Hill, 2016). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bennington Review, Best New Poets 2015, Conduit, Poetry Northwest, Sixth Finch, Fugue, and Southern Humanities Review, among others. She is the editor of Foundry and assistant editor of inter|rupture. Her website is