Mourning Desaru

by Mikki Aronoff

Ahead, the guide forages, trudges head down.

We travel from that same sweltering outpost,
take turns overtaking each other, tread
steadfast on the trail that veers
so purposefully to the right.

Stoneless path.

A ferry of weathered planks
awaits our plodding cort├Ęge,
threatens with heaving nods and bows
on sea-swells of thick green.

A storm of motion:
packed palms, fronds dark as crocodiles;
endless pineapple, crowns sweet and gold.
Ratoons crook their offshoots as
durian inhabits my nostrils, throat,
clogs my pores, my sense of direction.

My eyes, skin struggle to locate edges
of the land, the sea, the hem of my skirt, the curve of my wrist.

Black earth packs around my ankles.
My toes root

here.

Mourning Desaru

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