Are you now or have you ever been considered an invasive species?
How long can you survive in the desert without water? Have you ever
lied to the U.S. government? Are you lying now? You let me know
if you need something to drink. To what fungi have you been exposed?
Are you infectious? Do you carry contagions? Are you viable?
How much attention do you require? Are you wild? Tell me why
you are afraid of fire. What is your country of origin? Do you seek
the shade of others? Do you plan to uproot established trees?
How far back can you trace your seed? Are you a clone? Are you
barren? Are you a weed? Will you reproduce incessantly and choke
the perennials? Why were you harmed? When were you harmed?
So you were witness to a violence. Are you damaged
at the cellular level? Under what conditions will you wilt
or wither? How did you escape? And where have you been since?
On whom or what do you depend? Are you a hallucinogen?
Are you medicinal? Are you lethal to domestic animals or people?
Can you be bought and sold? Are you illegal?
And the Plant Answers Back [Redacted]:
…my sister was burned part of me
died too I
don’t know how
I got out
I will tell you I flew
I was a samara on the wind
I can still feel her
like a phantom limb
[ ] I could [ ] smell her [ ] singed skin [ ]
[ ——– ] Even now
I hear her
Kim Harvey is a San Francisco Bay Area poet, Associate Editor of Palette Poetry, and an alumni of Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Her work has appeared in Rattle, Radar, 3Elements Review, Typishly, Poets Reading the News, and elsewhere.
Do Plants Have Something to Say?
[New York Times]
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