How to Locate Water on a Deserted Island
Darling, these are the palm trees
we’ve endlessly discussed, their closeness
to dinosaurs and leather. Plants produce
spores and send their children in the air.
It’s the wrong time to think
of all the houseplants I’ve neglected, but still.
That night the praying mantis case
hatched in the kitchen: insects so small
and perfect that for a moment we believed
in their prayer. Of course sticks
can walk and the roots of trees gather
forgotten rains. Even science
can’t make up its mind about the divining
rod trembling in the old man’s hand:
is it the fork or is it his body
endlessly seeking its source? Here shade
has a brand new meaning. An art form
and our bodies bend to fit in the shapes
laid out for us. Rest for a moment my love,
my comma in the dark. The air around us
explodes in plumage. Watch where the birds go.
Karen Skolfield lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two kids and teaches travel writing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a contributing editor at the literary magazine Bateau and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Adirondack Review, Apple Valley Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, PANK, Painted Bride Quarterly, RATTLE, Slipstream, Sugar House Review, and others. Karen can be found at Karen Skolfield’s Writing Page.
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