They found my body in the woods.
He was tangled in the roots
Of a grand old Mother Tree,
Mushrooms growing up and through
His open ribcage, and clover
Weaving itself through his hair.
His feet were buried by the outer edge
Of a bush turkey’s mound.
I am to warm their unborn children
With my life’s blood, then to feed them
With all the insects called by my death.
His hands were still clutching my pen.
My phone had been held in the other
While I breathed my last under the trees,
Then planted in the soil beside myself
And harvested from that ground
When at last they found me there.
The soils around him were watered with life.
Three days after my last breath,
His grey-green arms were sprouting tiny flowers,
His eyes grew wandering mint down his cheeks,
And tomatoes grew from his stomach.
It’s been a week now since I left him under the trees.
Now every blood vessel, nerve, and bronchiole
Is embroidered white with hyphae
And golden with slime mold plasmodia.
Soon he will bloom with fleshy flowers
Who whisper in the night, we’re not so different,
You and I, flipsides of the same old coin.
How long was it until they found him?
Who can tell? He was little but a trellis,
Bleached and picked bare by the woods
For its young to pull themselves up on,
By the time he was lifted from the soils
On which I’d died, on which he lived.
Now he’s sealed inside treated wood,
Wrestled into a new suit we could never afford
When we were one, when I was alive.
He’s dead now too, his friends torn away
From the bones that anchored them to their lives.
Why couldn’t you just have left him there?
Jack is an emerging queer writer and digital artist in his last year of a BFA in Creative Writing. When not editing, writing, or daydreaming about his first novel, he can be found drawing art for it, which can be found on his Instagram (@jack.eli.fletcher).