Jennifer Perrine



From the dark thicket emerge white shoots,
petals on the black when I bow my head.
I no longer trouble to dye the roots,

instead let each wire raise its flag: salute
or surrender. Fate unspools her thread
from the dark. Thick, it emerges: white shoot,

little lightning that electrocutes
the last nerves that grasp. At delight or dread,
I no longer trouble. Today, the roots

spread, blossom, blow their seed, parachute
into my garden, invade, no blood shed.
From the dark, this emergent why? To shoot

that arrow at the stars is to pollute,
to stir sediment in the riverbed.
I'm no longer troubled to die. Roots

will burst through this body, overripe fruit
split to its chemical parts. New life bred
from the dark will emerge as white shoots—
no longer this troubled I at the roots.