Andrea Rowen

I am a refugee of unkept orchards, fevered and breaking from the fever,
seized by a virus that broke my good eye. This war is not over.

Onslaughts of images like parasite spores keen to seed me
with their violence, barter sedation in exchange for
paralysis saying,

"Lie still, don't do a thing, save be afraid."

Between unconsciousnesses I crawl beneath the fallen leaves and begin to read
relentlessly. Fingers trail mulch and bone, brailling across
the veiny decay, preaching spontaneous poems to the passing worms
trying to find my theme:

Library sanctus
merging into the blocked scripts arranged by the dull thuds
of apples falling, the past purifying
through this. Touching wisdoms with the live matter of me now.

Ripened fruits fall. I smell the pungent softening of the orchard's floor,
hear worms puncture the frail fruit, publishing my tunes with their movement
into the autumn's rotting flesh.

I have no strength to work. Through my wooze I say, "I will add
to the loam, random seeds will sprout again in season."
The humid scent of water reaches my nose,
a pond nearby, perhaps. Life.

Grieving this reads like a thousand bent spoons.

I drift off.
I am in a library. I am walking the halls. The library smells like turpentine.
Something's vanishing. I sit by the fireplace to write this poem.

And the virus that screams a sea of locusts in my head,
breaks like a wave.

I wake soaked, sucking in sky like steam,
audience to the coasting
of the gritty fractal of the day uncoding.

I am a broken judge,
I am the tide returned,
I am nothing I have yet read.

I am gathering, preserving,
casting my line into the future,
perfecting my wrist's flick.

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