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From: Vol.08 N.01 – Embodied Belonging: Towards an Ecopoetic Lyric

Body Reclamation

by Stefanie Kirby

I plant a seed in my mouth.
To savor. Salivate.
Dissolve. Strip

veneer in hairline cracks, stripe
the shell. Emerging root in bald
white taps down

a throat to branch along the iron of veins.
An invasion of muscle memory.
A tributary to heart beat, a web

fed by artery. Sap rush. I’ll pull
stems upward with breath. Staccato
call of canopy. Branch and leaf.

Bark unwinds in sheaths
across torso. Wrist.
Thigh, and settles.

Age comes in rings, concentric
builds by blood or chlorophyll
flush. I cannot know which.

My eyes flood orchid. Ears, cusp for bees.
Petals plume in fingers of blue
flame. Centers pop. Unfurl in so many

white-flecked tongues. Slender
violet beaks. A few carry off
on my breath. Constant flux.

Others in cream white
lobe themselves open. Fans of fine
filament. Maroon, pin-thin.

Some die back to seed-head.
Jutting chins in zig-zag.
The overlap of furred scales

in ochre. Decline.
In bloom.

Published: November 2021
Stefanie Kirby

is a bilingual mother and poet residing in the Colorado foothills. She studied poetry at Lighthouse Writers Workshop and has taught writing to middle and high school students. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Nightingale & Sparrow, MORIA Literary Magazine, and Ethel Zine.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.