Published on Academy of American Poets (

No One Speaks of How Tendrils Feed on the Fruits

                                                no one speaks of how tendrils feed on the fruits

                        of my demise     these dead hands                  for instance     that alight                phlox

wild strawberry                 and pine             this is my body out of context       rotting in the                wrong hemisphere         

   I died                     so all my enemies would tremble at my murmur                  how it                      populates their homes     

                              so I could say to the nearest fellow dead person        I know more than

      all my living  foes                  I’ve derived sun-fed  design                             for once                             from

                    closing my oak eyes                           now they’ll never snare the civilian

                                                                     pullulating my throat


Copyright © 2019 by Xandria Phillips. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 26, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“There is a war being waged on my generation, and a part of it demands the draining and depletion of our natural world with no concern for sustainability, or generations to come. In considering America to be a unity of haunted states, I often speculate joining the ranks. Death in America feels as proximal as missing a utility bill. When I face my fear of decay in body and spirit, I find that the earth lavishes me with flora. The poem was born in me en route to a doctor's visit, for which I had no insurance.”
—Xandria Phillips


Xandria Phillips

Xandria Phillips is the author of Hull (Nightboat Books, 2019).

Date Published: 2019-06-26

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