They told us all about the insect
who will come when the time is ripe;
every night I dream of him – his magic feet
on the anther, his tongue tickling the pistil.
But no insect came for me. I felt
a little off, a little too warm and dry,
oh, I was parched –
and I could tell I was out of shape
when suddenly my cap burst off
and spores flew out so fast
they made a vacuum and a tiny mushroom cloud.
Oh, they were higher and faster than mushrooms’,
and the wind carried them away like a stork.
Talk to me in Latin, baby! I wanted to say
to myself. But I could not speak.
The little ‘o’ in the capsule
was all that was left of my voice.
Carolyn Masel is a Melbourne poet. Her first chapbook, A Book of Hours, imagines the voices of some of inhabitants of inner Melbourne (Ginninderra Press, 2017), and her first full-length collection, Moorings, includes poems about social issues as well as autobiographical subjects (Ginninderra Press, 2019).