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Germinate — Adria West
I become lost on a small path leading
to a group of trees with snarled, protruding roots
sated by slivers of sun on flat rock.
My eyes outline the forms of emerald
ferns, pale mushrooms bubbling
on soft bark. I feel the trunk beneath my palms
like an immense beast of old—bowed,
allowing for touch.
It all allows me here, does not try to alter
what I have always been. Echoes of past selves
move with me, contained universes like flies
in amber prisons. I reconnect with the creature
that creeps through the undergrowth. I glide
my bare feet on silky moss, suddenly the child again—
nested inside the woman,
learning to shed old plumage, find the talons
beneath the down—
unearthing everything, no longer afraid.
Sweet sting of the pines in my nose, slow breaths
as I sip elderflower liquor from a flask. Warmth
blooms in dewy campsite morning. I become
everything I ever was all over again. Progression
to germination. I come back to this
untouched, untroubled place, disappear
in the webwork of branches—
footfalls of unseen things.
Life lived rootless, craving connection,
jealous of the way fungi know how to move as one—
effortlessly doing what we can’t do. It all tells me
what I already know: there are pieces
of me growing under all these stones,
if only I can bear to turn them over.