Issue 159, Fall 2001
at the crooked roots of a hazelnut tree
meets a set of conditions so knotted and invisible
it feels like good will, or magic,
when the truffle begins its warty branches
that grow away from the sun.
This time it doesn't stop with one fairy ring
and dissolute spores, but fingers its way
beneath the turf and under the fence
and past the signs for Truffle Reserve:
Harvest Regulated by the State Forestry Department,
out through Umbria, up the shank of Italy;
it enmeshes the skin of the Alps.
In time its pale filaments have threaded Europe and,
almost as stubborn as death, are probing
sand on one side and burrowing on the other
through the heated muttering bed of the sea.