Air any thicker and I’d be a page in a book.
And I only have to look at kudzu to feel it
crawling all over me.
A feral pig carcass pilots a floating island.
A ‘gator sunbakes by an abandoned fish-shack.
An egret is content to be singular.
But there is no one blackbird that wouldn’t rather be two.
The greenery looks so tired in this heat.
And yet it grows as quickly as tadpoles into frogs.
A clammy kind of growth that congeals instead of sprouting.
What sun it cannot use, it passes on to those passing below.
That’s why each step is exhausting.
And I feel more like a hired hand than a hiker.
But there’s a beauty here, a sensuous woman,
fleshy and sweating, her skin flush with tattoos.
Like the bald cypress rooted to her cheeks.
The mangrove mounds of her breasts.
A belly brown and mostly still.
A copperhead coiled inside her navel.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Penumbra, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, Leaves on Pages and Memory Outside the Head are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and Held.