Some days it’s all wanting, wanting
what you haven’t got, this rainforest summer,
dense with the diminishing currency
of clouds. Caught between resistance
and surrender, the more that you want
is a walk in the jungle, where you peel off
your city clothes and lean into wet fronds
till you reach the red stem you barely know
the name of, stroke the waxy lacquer
of its bracts, like no petals you’ve ever seen,
and feel its power claw through you.
Like a hermit hummingbird, you drink
the liquor in its chevron of scarlet cups,
tassels of flowers brushing your lips,
each tipped with an eye dark enough
to pin you to the centre of where you are
in the world’s spinning marketplace.
If you can stomach its Amazonian medicine,
it’ll ferry you to the edge of words, let you be
friends with the earth’s tilt – not getting what
you think you want, blossoming beyond
small ideas about growth, slaking your thirst
on looking – and find some rest there.
From: Reading the Flowers, Arc, 2016