This stream took a shorter course—
a thread of water that makes oasis
out of mud, in pooling,
does not aspire to lake. To river, leave
the forest, the clamorous wild.
I cannot. Wherever I am,
I am here, nonsensical, rhapsodic,
stock-still as the trees. Trickling
never floods, furrows its meager path
through the forest floor.
There will always be a root
too thirsty, moss that only swallows
and spreads. Primordial home, I am dying
from love of you. Were I tuber or quillwort,
the last layer of leaves that starts the dirt
or the meekest pond,
I would absorb everything.
I would drown. Water makes song
of erratic forms, and I hear the living
push back branches, wander off trail.
Jennifer Chang, “Genealogy” from The History of Anonymity. Copyright © 2008 by Jennifer Chang. Reprinted by permission of The University of Georgia Press.
Source: The History of Anonymity
(University of Georgia Press, 2008)