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The Growth

ISSUE:  Spring 1998

I heard a weed cry in a dream
let me in, let me in.
It grew on a hill outside my window,

was gnawed by cicadas, taunted by crows
but still had five leaves
large as tortoises, and near the earth

a stem rotted brown. How the roots thrived
I couldn’t guess, but in my dream
the weed bent its stem and slid

down to the luminescent pane
next to my bed, where I lay thinking
about pain. I saw its fringed head

nod. I saw the liquid drum
through its huge green vein.
It looked and looked at my infant life

until I felt my heart crack,
disintegrate, and swell up in my throat
like a brilliant adventure

that hadn’t yet occurred.
And I woke up and whispered
(for the dark seemed fruitless)

Oh rancid, blooming mystery,
how long before your messenger
will come for me?


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