There are empty spaces we make
and empty spaces we grow

accustomed to, as though they were always
there—a gold mine you can descend an hour into

by elevator before reaching its network
of tunnels—or always will be,

as in the photosynthetic capacity of trees
to absorb carbon dioxide into their diameter, their height.

As a forest is torn down, as it dries out, dies off,
the trees that are left won’t absorb as much carbon

as they used to. Studies show them storing less, fitting less
into themselves. The trees are falling down

on the job, as they say,
then we say. The shareholders saying

through us, from inside us. And we cannot
squeeze into tree cells to enlarge them by pushing outward

in all directions at once, like da Vinci’s sketch
of the proportions of the human body

according to Vitruvius. A sketch of a man
over a sketch of the same man with arms and legs

at different angles, so as to cover as much of the circle
and square as possible. A sketch depicting the ideal form

that leaves little room for much else.