by Joshua Allen

Tonight, in the loamy darkness,
we grow into shapes resembling ourselves.
The forest breathes through us —
heady infusions of oxygen.

Our combined age is forty-three,
which must mean we know something.
We scream for them to prove us wrong:
“Provide us empirical evidence; demonstrate
our difference is in our heads. Label us.
We’ll wait for an answer at the top of this waterfall.”

With curiosity, you poke glow worms
as I stand with my arms above my head, trying to be powerful.

Solidifying, I root myself in the soil,
my skin shedding to reveal brown bark,
my hair leafy, my face grooved.

Twittering birds come to rest on my arms.

You dissolve into a diffuse white mist, ethereal,
saturating bark skin, gnarled roots, sheer rocks,
translucent leaves, the wingtips of birds,
the warm windshields of car-shaped wanderers,
the bric-a-brac shells of scurrying insects,
and finally consummating with the wild kinetic energy
of the water pouring over the waterfall
onto the rocks below.


Joshua Allen is a newly minted university graduate looking to ply his craft into unfeeling capitalistic gain and become the preeminent example of a liberal arts education gone awry. He has been published in Lime Hawk, Tributaries, and the Zingara Poetry Review, among others.