01/28

spider plants

we know very little about ourselves.
proliferating, the spider plant
carries her offspring by green nooses
as they dangle below her waist.
i had a friend who cultivated them.
as girls, we'd sit on her porch late june 
as she carefully removed the infants 
& repotted each. soon they would have newborns
& so on & so on. our humid faces sweat-blinking 
in the midday swelter. our own repotting,
happening beneath each fingernail & between
each tooth. that morning, taking my heart
& watching it multiply, waiting for it 
to rest in between divisions. we have 
so many yearnings to keep track of. 
in the mirror, fog blurred every past self 
i'd ever had to preen. my friend, she'd looked at me 
with eyes full of spiders. the extra legs
we manage in the dark. our dissapointments.
the failures of our knuckles. she was 
a dancer & i always wished i could be one.
kept her ballet shoes hung on the front doorknob
& they clopped like horse hooves. 
the porch overflowed with lineage.
she said she didn't have enough. she wondered
if she'd ever be able to stop. just a joke.
pinched the neck of another & plucked
the daughter free. i wished plants
could speek. i would have asked 
if they knew how we felt--if they could see
the selves i was growing. if i was
green enough to make it. she gave me one
to take home. i set the spider plant
on my windowsill & it died 
not much later. i try to avoid
holding funerals for desires but 
for the spider plant i dug a hole
beneath the pine tree. laid its skeleton
to rest. root cementry.
said farewell to its spreading.
cupped one of my new hearts 
& fed it nothing but water.

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