Saturday, May 21, 2016


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.

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