Gherardo Cibo, "Extracts from an edition of Dioscorides' 'De re medica', Plantago maior," f. 50, c. 1564-1584
Spurge, plantain, sandbur, bastard cabbage holding sticky mud in place on a neglected, dozer-massed low hill—the ragged, scumbled parchment where four-wheelers tossed out the empties, spinning hairpin to make calligraphic tire- tread ayah, knotted as Quranic script. No one much loves those plants, but I might. They’re first to take back what we’ve skinned with graders and bush hogs, to sink roots where they’re not wanted, reclaiming the sandy loam, the waste dirt. Trash plants—invasive, or just a nuisance—so like so-called trash people who were my people, clinging to a thin soil in their goldene medina, spitting to ward off the evil eye. There’s no pristine landscape with people in it; it’s just all tangled, unbeautiful, beautiful as all creation.