*This poem first appeared in the 2013 edition of the literary magazine, Portal.

You seek the company of
flora over fauna.
You flourish while being
rooted through earth and blood
back to

You curate a grove
of potted plants–
hyacinth and mint,
and compost ruby skins
of dried pomegranate peels.

You were shucked
as a child.
Being maimed so young
left you raw,
but you were ripe enough
to nurture a camera,
bright enough to understand
techniques and keep your composure,
but the exposure of your wounds
made you wilt, and withdraw.

The illness slid out–
a serpent that took
hold of your mouth
with its jaw.
And you spoke of angels,
childhood friends,
patterns and fractals,
lines on a leaf.

You spoke of waking
up on the ground,
pounding your heels,
pleading to be


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