I startled you the first time.
You spilled bougainvilleas deep violet
from your lap, bursting all around
us. The whole forest was staring
at me, waiting to see what came next.
You ran before I could finish
calling your name.
I sympathized, you know.
The iron devils had already
moved in, their teeth marking your trees,
splitting rocks with their toes
in search of something more golden-black
than freshwater clear.
I looked like a devil’s-heart, no?
And how could I see you?
But fear makes special senses,
desperation is its own sight.
You never stopped me laying
my head in your heaven— “but
that is what it here for,” you
say. “For rest.”
You’re a charming
king of a more dazzling domain.
I’m as afraid of the outside as you;
look at us, you a god with horns,
me a man who ran and tore the city’s dress off me.
The mimosa pudica closes her doors
with each tremor of modernity drawing close.
You bring mockingbirds to our dinner
tables soon, dare to kiss a boy so
future-scented, tell me I don’t
need to apologize. “The city does
forget easy. The woods can’t.”
I want to live as long as you do,
hand over hand, be a pleasant memory,
‘til the city steps on the very last green.