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Undergrowth


'Stop!' says the forest the wolf comes out of
roots bruised by footsteps, crushed under wheels;


a blurred pelt slips from the edge of eyes
and leaves us in a fug of berries, underfoot mulch.


So what if I won't let you in on my private thoughts
if paths multiply a forest's disregard for boundaries
-


lightning-fractured bark comes away in your hand
revealing beetle journeys, hunger, wandering script
-


I crossed left, right, curved back on myself
perhaps a dozen times, maybe more,


pen over page a broken trail of ink, or every key
another step towards the bottom right-hand corner.


From here it's a matter of tracking with night goggles
as insects drive us back, each pinpoint stab


a red blotch of incursion or means of getting by
like alder saplings pushing out of fallen spruce


or lichen graffiti in the broadleaf zone.
Electronic sensors blink at the edge of a continent


where lime and hornbeam flash citrus to green amber,
lining a species corridor for boar calling boar, elk dreaming of elk


across the border, the barrier
across the road just a stop on the way through.

 

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