Dogbane Beetle

Sickness in a Cool, Coastal Wood

Mourning doves, escaping a hunt, are pulled
into the inviting glow of a slow wood full with fungi
bursting from and among rotting logs like seams.
A gentle transition, now: in-between bustling, is
entirely self contained. New rain falls, soaks,
and dries with sweltering noon. Mayflies live
half their lives in a single day’s liminal hours.
In this mo(u)rning time, many sad men kiss
each other’s bodies like they’ll die tomorrow.
We think they drop like mayflies, but really,
their deaths are slow: all an unkept wood.
Hearts are left unfed, pumping weakly, and weary.
The earth bruises like a past-ripe peach, filling
with young bodies. When will it be sewn up tight?
The fungi crack softened logs wide open, and
their fuzziness grows across fresh graves,
covering them over many liminal mornings.