Boquila Trifoliolata in Chilean Rainforest

It’s as if you see—
you’ve eyes—
the way you grow along
woodland floor
to climb to higher radiuses—

how humans don’t understand,
they must

disclaim your intelligence
can’t explain how
it is your shape gone

your shift in size,
color, veins, orientation—mimicry

knowing exactly how much light
you need to stay alive

as in being “stealth vine”
that’s what they call you, as if

it’s wrong you fear enemies
who would feed off you,

turn your need into toxicity
out of look-alikes in your leaves
that may be

transference of genes from host,
DNA passed through mycorrhizal

into maybe it was airborne chemicals
you knew how to replicate, absorb,

merge into other plant possibilities
of what it is—is a miracle reminding
how we humans don’t know—
have yet the full intelligence for—

one after another
beautiful, reaching thing.

Lynne Goldsmith


Lynne’s first book, Secondary Cicatrices, won the 2018 Halcyon Poetry Prize, was a 2019 Finalist in the American Book Fest Awards, a 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Award Gold Winner, and a Finalist in the International Book Awards.

Listen to Lynne reading Boquila Trifoliolata in Chilean Rainforest (1:20)

© 2021 text and audio