by brenda hillman
—aw aw: crows’ eyebrows… The termites have hastily married—soon they’ll drop veined wings— till their vows are outside! In the woods, a shaman moment… tries a cure: pleiades of sun, a thrush [Catharus guttatus] brings spots to you, a seedful anarchist— The magicks are merging. Lambs swell in the bellies of the ewes; the great dead approach, famished for winter berries… What is the enigma you carry halfway to equinox, your soul feeling his own princely skin in the back seat? Origins of expression— in the caves, the fury of nations, the handmade stars of lovers’ cries, the abstract stroke—; stop telling us what to do, Indo-European languages! everything has been eating the fireroots, its fluffy hatchlings scratch along— it says to itself: we are on loan from a seamless realm —in the pledge, dot-dot, —in the syllable of the clause (You’re just making that up) Am not. (Are too.) Am not.
“Something Has Been Reading the Fireroots” was first published in Seasonal Works With Letters on Fire, Wesleyan University Press, 2013