Jacqueline Powers

The Banyan Tree

With the soft hush of the recently bereft,
you whisper: Unweight yourself
float free.
I say: You think you know
me but you will never claim me.

Imagine an arc over crenellated sky:
constellations fracture but you
bend, glide.
Like the ghost orchid, you cannot
fall, or fail.

I will be elusive, luminous.
Whose stamen, whose pistil?
Someone sings––
there––on the forest floor

sings bark, mulch
and the cloying sweet smell of death.
A whole chorus
swells, rises
beneath the banyan tree.

You whisper downwind. I must answer.
And always that urgent
mindless sex.

Like cymbidium,
a bright and willful start.


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