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Brother crept away
with a mangrove girl
a beach nomad
from a family of salt-slick
bottom feeders
tricky little roots
grazing the fecund, decaying mud flats
their shuffle-step gypsy dances
on the shore
under the glow of a chloroflourocarbon sunset
more seductive
than our manicured
slow-light garden

Sister
stunted for so long, fruitless
it was just one dose
one cycle of gibyrilic acid
now heavy, swollen
with sweet, poisoned fruit
and strange pollenless blossoms
culled herself
so she could be held
at night
I find her petals shed, buried secretly
in dry earth

our Mother, her
blastoma swelling, invading
chokes on rusty water
as she chides me
she has said
I am a weed, like
my father
{I remember his stories, and little else}
her leaves dragging
she spits, and says
that I will leave her, too

but I am rooted
by the sweet tang
of familiar minerals and guilt
this deep soil
its well-tread and tilled boundaries home
this narrow garden
its scents and traces obsessive with
memory
I send down feeders to the bottom of our
history

and forget the tales of
wilderness
{a riot of jungle
as far as the eye can see
tribes, bright with
orchid blossom
and dreaming
run, singing
under a canopy of moon and vines

or the vast deserts
with fragrant, twisted hermits
crouching in the shade of red rocks
sipping deep, secret water
whispering to the heaven past the
blind white sky
guarded by mute sentries
arms and spines raised in warning
}

I forget the ancient silva
{great forests
where brave and foolish saplings find quests
abandoning their shaded
villages by small, chuckling brooks
while scarred and wise elders
chuckle from their doorsteps
knowingly
}

I prune these childish tales,
these tail-swallowing dreams
these indulgences
I am rooted
and I must tend the garden that I have
cull the tricky weeds
and temper the sun
but
still, at night, I
sometimes pluck strange pollen
from the cross-winds
and taste
wilderness
This works as a science fiction poem. There is a brief sketch of the world it comes from, which I can furnish if you're interested.
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Submitted on
June 24, 2005
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