after Diane Ackerman
Far off the coast of familiar,
ringed by age-hard coral and sterile-
white waves, sailing-ship suicide—
There lies your body. Overgrown
with vines cocooned in soft gauze
and roots that siphon old rain
from your battered chest. The air
always jungle-hot, throat-deep.
At night the stars shine green,
dark-petaled bruises bloom
inside the glistening caverns
of your unknown.
There is no religion here.
The mysteries of wood and water
only beads on a bracelet, the nursery
rhymes of some distant civilization.
Instead, looming large
and silent, demanding worship—
the ancient riddle of blood
and bone. Oxygen and chrome.
Of the way you plunge into bucking
with each shuddering lung-heave,
every tropical-heart storm. Slowly,
you are being weathered.
There is a word for this
where I come from, a flag
with which to mark the shore—
Like a kiss on the cheek
for the first and last time.
Like the raven that never came home.
By Stefani TranQLRS Vol. 13 No. 1 Jan 2014