schefflera actinophylla (umbrella tree)

wicker
mane weather-
beaten, worsted by diaphanous
fibres & sprigs of greased lacework,
thronged with kleptomaniacal arachnids; my
awnings never an aviary, i am anything but the keeper
of a cappella songbirds. honeysuckle & mistletoe –
summer & winter, but immune to the flutter against you
& your fever – you're victimised by psychroesthesia &
horripilation, & i'm just proving that frigidity doesn't equate
to frigid (heat & in heat? that could be a different story). sunshine moves
right through me – hits you, taps you (& bang)– but there's no love in this
radiance (yet damn, you know how to tango). i retreat behind
tropic foliage & hide from your teeth. clinging to the bones of ivy, the
blinds tumble down the gravitational stairwell, submerging under water
ing eyes – they plunge (us into darkness). we say that we've never seen clearer,
but you're lying (down, my vines binding you to the forest floor where i mark my
territory – you sweat the shapes of snakes as my mouth
crumbles & rises, working savage magic to remove their venom)
& i'm lying (i've never been so cold & bothered). your eyes buckle, skeletal
eyelashes brush my nostrils & whistle phantom wishes, & i grin – parched lips
opening like a venus f(lie) trap, & strangle your wrists with the wispy stems of my
fingers. i crawl upon your flesh & compare you to puckered,
sour bark, but flavoured with saccharine sap & rainwater you moan at my parasitic tendencies.
& my clockwise
vines tease
your cortex
& i watch
the dimples
either side of
your mouth
swell as you breathe
(as you photosynthesise)
& shake my bindings loose.
you look at me (my eyes shine
several shades of evergreen) & ask:

"do you love me?"

(no! i don't.
no, i don't.
no, (i don't.
know,) i don't.
no!

i don't know.
all i know is i can't let go of you.)

"i'm just a lonely kid
carving her future on trees.
"