i am re-learning what mourning looks like
with unsteady hands, shaking like unsettled bones;
i am equally unsettled in the rattling wind,
with a graveyard mouth that is stumbling in the dearth
where i am pinned to the roots of this gnarled tree
and the boughs are shuddering
under their own weight.
i am unsettled in the shape mourning takes beneath my palms:
the ridge of a kissed brow; the nooks of cinnamon-sugar toast
and the crannies of late spring;
the breeze of hammock touches;
a well-traveled trail, distant now,
fades beneath my fingertips.
i am wilting in the upbeat,
with a throat ripe with bruised fruit,
i am abundance that never makes the shelves,
the farmer went home,
the fruit rotted.
splintered arms dangle
over my head in lost words,
i think about you: June lips, curled under the cinnamon sun,
the rest turns to dust.
the anatomy of a woman is dendrochronology
the root of the root,
as it were,
is the tugging tendril that creeps
between the clay pot of my lungs
to bury my bones into the dirt,
where i have learned to sprout
and stoop towards the sun in despite:
despite my skin, all that damp peat
i have drowned under, or my nose bit
black in the early frost;
i have lived here,
watching the decomposition of myself
who once but also never was;
if i could,
i would speak to her from beneath the earth
but i am still learning how to describe the scent
of living soil.
i am still borrowing this creaking world
and she has all of her lives planned.
should i return,
i am just elongated limbs, labyrinthine fingers
coaxing around a heart that lifts itself
to the full sky.
my corpse is no subtle creature,
a sapling, still;
i count the soft rings of her;
i watch her love the huddled things,
the slow rise of their chests;
the curl of their molten fists;
i watch her melt into the earth
and rise into a cloud of smoke;
watch her roll off distant mountaintops.
Nestled in the mountains of Upstate New York, Kate Shannon is a farmhand and environmentalist who spends her free days backpacking and writing. She mostly uses natural and environmental themes in her work, as nature has always had a place in her heart, even in the darkest of times.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.