Inhale ire and exhale worry. Hot-box your bachelor suite, pray
over holy basil chamomile concoctions for the frazzled
rhizomes of your sympathetic nerves. Bury the bones
of the animals you wish you didn’t need to eat.
Medicate: rum, milk thistle, rum, repeat. Pack the wounds
with mud and try to carry on. I come in with a shovel
but I also carry the hum of a million mundane car rides,
I’m asthmatic, with jagged gravel specks embedded in my feet, pollution,
my bleak, dogged atheism. Cleanse me. And I will help you
tie the twined, dried lemon balm and lavender from the ceiling. Sow
a row of carrots in your bed sheets. Sneak in all of the endangered
arbutuses and oaks. Plant little succulents in the countertops, and feed
honey to the moss spreading across the shower walls. Filtered
water for the willows, and coffee grounds for the fig trees. Lay with me
on the dirt-covered linoleum and place your pomegranate seeds
on my tongue. Let’s turn this soil together. Look how good, how grounded.
Délani Valin studies Creative Writing at Vancouver Island University. She won the 2017 Long Poem Prize from The Malahat Review and the Lush Triumphant Literary Award for her suite of poetry, “Modern Myths.” Her writing has appeared in subTerrain, the Canadian anthology Those Who Make Us, Adbusters, Soliloquies Anthology, Portal, and elsewhere.