Photo by Rudri Bhatt Patel

by Emily Ellison

I have planted myself in the forest

I have planted myself in the forest
as a wilting tree, prematurely mossed.
Deciduous and in constant soul-cost
of reformation, I trade decay for caressed
limbs where birds perch and sing stressed
syllables of my life away. Jade glossed
fungi wrap and suck—I am embossed
as Queen who reigns o’er mutinous black-blessed
lichen lowlifes. My skin falls for their heads
to rest upon. Like the late arrived sun
in winter, you rise to collect my dew,
finally lapping. The wild flowerbeds
germinate inside my death-laden lungs
to tempt how deeply your tongues might ensue.



if only I could hold
the spine without flapping

my innards in the hands
of anyone who holds me.

does this crippled dust
remain, or become a mere

bellow of melancholy?
fill your plastic-bag belly

with my mold.
fondle my rough.