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 

Adenine

Guanine 

Cytosine 

Thymine

 

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?

Yes

 

Will you listen to them when they are sad?

Yes

 

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

Yes

 

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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