by Patrick Loafman
Clouds, steel gray as the sides of salmon, brushed themselves
against the swollen bellies of mountains, and the full moon fell
into the river and sizzled.
Then I was hiking somewhere upriver to where bearded old men
become spruce trees, until everything became too vivid
and I collapsed, falling to the skin of the earth, my head rattling
the bells of chocolate lilies, their tongues oozing nectar into my ear.
Beneath the bitter umbrellas of oxalis, I could see stardust and red mites.
Moss braided itself into a green rope, and I climbed further down this toxic
vision, turning glistening pages of liverworts, shattered wings of cicadas,
searching the undersides of the smallest leaves for a window or a mirror.
I kept descending down this green rope into smaller and smaller forests,
into the gray tangle of mycelia. Maybe, I imagined, this is death’s journey,
to enter the earth’s pores like water.
Patrick Loafman is an author, wildlife biologist and artist. This poem is adapted from a paragraph from his new novel Somewhere Upriver. Read more about his novel, see his gourd art and watch videos of him playing gourd musical instruments at http://ploafman.wix.com/patrickloafman