Your Biome Has Found You

And who will kiss open
the spine of the resurrection fern
hunched like a widow, like a shamed child?
How it locks and hides and browns
under the sun—a laborer’s hands
picking blistered tomatoes
or a pile of bones, perhaps
bird bones—small, dry, silent.

Here is the damp and thickest marsh
of your interior wetland. And here,
your tundra of moss, rock, and shrub.
Here is the thing you lost,
perhaps the saddest or loveliest thing
—remember? It was suddenly taken—
as a fish spine is plucked from
its open body on an open plate.

You are helpless and wild here,
a murmuration of starlings in your chest.
Cicadas scream petrified from treetops.
The feral sounds of wilderness
sharpen your teeth.

It is November. Goldfish scales crunch
under your soles, the autumnal scent
of a fire inhales you, the aerials come and go.
Adding up all the dead things you carry,
you realize there is so much dirt in you.
Still, your nautilus ears listen, waiting
to hear your native sea.

Copyright © 2021 by Gloria Muñoz. This poem appeared in Danzirly (University of Arizona Press, 2021)Used with permission of the author.