Lovely Parasite

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Lovely Parasite


I’m slicing at the roots

they scar over quickly


I’m shaking the tree limbs 

the parasite grips harder


I’ve been born into this

you’ll never leave


I’m an old tricycle with a trunk swallowing me 

I swallow hard


I want to tear me down


I want to sever my limbs and save my family


And take us far far away so the ones that came before can never reach us


Dead hands from above pull at my hair 

One by one

and try to drag me with them 


There is a ladder above me

that towers into the sun 

And leans against the tree that grips me


The branches wrap around it

Holding it in place


It slowly twists

And veers off

Like the times

I try to look beyond myself 

in competing mirrors


All I see is 






Or maybe that’s just my disposition


It’s possible to engineer it

I can conjure the sun

I can grapple the rain 

I can send off seeds to find better soil


And when I’m done 


I can hack at the limbs to see if they are green again 


If the roots get infected

I can cut off the branches and replant them


But if a frost comes

Will we survive?


My eyes have tangled into a knot as the ladder grows rapidly


While the trunk swallows up a baseball bat


99 bottles of alcohol


And one head on collision 


The rings of my good and bad winters repeat in patterns


The soil stripped from monoculture 


With a melancholic melody


My genes flicker on and off


The fluorescent lights above me remind me of


how broken we are


From millions of years of programming 


And also 


how resilient we are


I gaze up at the ladder


I cannot see everything 

I keep getting twisted

My expressions turning on and off


And this ladder has no footing


I veer off into vertigo

Think I’m better suddenly 

And try to splice to see if I’m green again


Instead I kill this moment 

And it starts unraveling 


And I am nowhere 

I am nowhere 

I am nowhere 


I cannot be seen


I flew too close to the sun again 


I can see my breath

it’s freezing


I’m shaking from these heights

the parasite peels away


We were all born into this

and I hope it all goes away





I want to stay.

I know


My ancestors are crying out

I am too


Will you listen to them when they are angry?



Will you listen to them when they are sad?



Will you listen to them when they have secrets to tell you?



Will you let them help you?

I will

I will

I will.


We’ve been trying to tell you


When the parasite comes


Befriend it


Because it’s always been a part of you


One slithers up my arm and I giggle


It’s big googly eyes look up at me


I pet its head


And look below me


Little parasites on almost every rung.


Three others slither up to me


I’ll call you Aden

And you Guany

You Cyto

And this lil guy Thymy


I can’t cut the rungs and I can’t slice the root


Without killing you


My hair falls around me


There is a hole 


In the trunk of the tree


Where light comes through 


I’m gripping the handlebars of my trike


And set it down beside the tree


I jump up and grab the nearest limb

And swing back of forth from it

As I smile


As my little friends hang out on my shoulders


And I laugh as they grip harder 

trying to hang on 

for dear life 

Submitted: May 28, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Roxanne Byrne. All rights reserved.

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