The parasitic vine

Bart Wolffe

THE PARASITIC VINE

Before he left his cave, before the ice,

He wrapped a living rope around his waist

And placed its root inside his vest

And then stepped outside into the wasteland,

Trod the stones for many sunsets,

Slept in corridors of rocks,

Stroked the vine inside his sleep

And dreamt that other world he left behind.

This green life borrowed from his blood

Its life. He bore its weight, its constricting stem,

Allowed it to make itself at home

Inside his skin.

When he lay down orphaned one last time,

Its dream fed off him in a foreign place

Where the half-light casts in shadows

Penumbra of strange haunted silhouettes

Speaking strangled tongues of wilderness.

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