The tail end of a hurricane
toppled and severed you in the forest
where I find you, unlucky wooden gastropod,
wanting to swim with dust in your eyes.
I pull you closer, although your smell deters me;
pelting my palate with freshness and mould,
as if the two were possible in one gulp.
This is what I should smell like, if a storm
unearthed me, in my gown of yellowed lace,
this would be my response to the gust of cold air.
Unearthed, you bear the mark
of a difficult birth: a fell cut baring the bone,
the expression not yet blotted out by an halcyon sea.
Your tiny hairy arms and legs, no longer mobile,
no longer waving, puberty set adrift.
Your mandragora scream sunk into the ground –
caught in my mouth: you’d like to be washed out
by the sea, come back as driftwood.
Separated from you by a fine thread
of breath, I am here to help.