We come gnawed by need on hands and knees.

As a creature (nosing) grubble-seeks a spring.

As bendy-spined as bandy snakes through saltshrub yaupon

For darkling green;
for thorn-surround.

This absorbing


Of   briar-canes (intervolved with kudzu-mesh) and mold.

Of   these convoluted vines we grasp to suck.

To taste the pith —
the lumen the cell-sap pulse.

To try to know

some (soursharp) something about something.

Lumen is as lumen does.

‘A little room for turmoil to grow lucid in.’

In here where Clary set her cart-tongue down (and dug, and brailled).
In here where Tynan breathed.

We grasp to suck to taste what light.

Let loose the bale that bows us down.

— Bow down.

More Poems by Atsuro Riley