Two poems // Natasha Gold
To think of the decaying as an ecosystem.
Our ecosystem is fluid, our green mouths grinning grass through our wet teeth
We are revitalized in the morning, urinating so that a fish may drink and bow
to those white cartilage swimmers we’d never dream of. Toilet bowl ecosystem
Trout ugly and brown spawn in open mouths between rocks, conversation carrying
the snapping of twigs, wet and exhausted, bent from sorrow or relief.
I hang my body over the ravine’s edge and imagine washing washing washing
The sound of dry dirt clicks teeth against the pebbles; the rustled roots of the tree like fat worms through the earth -- swaying in slow circles my body hums while I close my eyes. In flight
a heron claps its wings, startles the rest of us alive.
I can’t forget the way you swam towards me, your delta mouth spewing grit and bodily things,
eyes lit white like fine-boned china. You shoved back the sheets as if they were rocks crushing your limbs while you flipped and flopped like a fish looking for air, a breath of wind to come
along and sustain you.
And I pulled you ashore, banked against my flayed legs. You sputtered like a motor gutted to its rust. You couldn’t see where you had swum. I licked the river water from your eyelashes, flecks
of red-pebbled blood at your lips. I could hear the roots beneath me whispering. This system sustains.
Salmon in the Moss
It does not have to move against anything to know that it is moving
- Gertrude Stein
Pink fish swim away slippery and wet upstream to my headboard head full of nonsense and whimsical things: a woman’s womb full of rain; that loosened stone slipping downstream; the snow thick like a swarm of insects rubbing their hind legs dry with hope; an avalanche of whimsy I can’t get to my feet for anymore.
So I watch the leaves fall and I swim in my own body, the curves like cures to my madness, my restless legs, my sleeping moon.
What’s to become of the rocks?
What song does the Pacific sing when she is tired?
I close my eyes to the butterflies; they like my breasts, my rosebud nipples.
Looking for the milk it keeps them afloat. They swell and morph, they change back to caterpillars and crawl over my legs. I let them in.
I am a field of fields I am an occasion of recumbent folds. There are daisies and wildflowers. The caterpillars want to spin and spin so I spin with them, pulling out my thin white threads, spinning until my head gets sick:
Let them in. Let the mosses grow so wild that north is nothing but a cardinal sin.
The birds come in droves and the caterpillars kneel to prey Let them feed the mosses are drenched in shit and the rains fill up my womb, sinking me with stones;
Let another feed the trees root through my pink swells
This is salt
the chime of another fish hooked is my body singing itself alive just as the sun comes to rise:
it does not have to move against anything to shatter.
Natasha Gold lives in Victoria, BC where she has finally settled after living in Montreal, Toronto, and travelling Central America. Her work continues to be inspired by the human experience told through the stories of the earth. She is a lover of trees, oceans, and dogs, though she's never written a poem for or about a dog. Her work has been previously published in Canadian Literature.