when people laugh at a word like soul

BY Jason baltazar

this cypress, 
my six year
swaying neighbor,
—-doesn’t know our inventions
for its genus 
or clade,
but the root graze
of the cypress beside it
—-names both.

—–this neighbor
—-never proselytizes
dreamt up theologies, 
only pulls the fallen sky 
into its knees,
swishes shaggy fringe 
—-in this prairie’s 
ceaseless exhalation;

only reaches, 
each day 
infinitesimally nearer,
to potencies 
—-feeding limbs 
the dizzy warm splendor 
of growth— 

and words
will sometimes
live on tongues 
—-not as names but gestures,
hopeful recognitions
that we carry 
similar potential.

Jason Baltazar is a proud Salvadoran American originally from the Appalachian corner of Maryland. He is currently finishing a PhD focused on speculative fiction and postcolonial studies. His work has or will appear in Boston Review, Wrongdoing Magazine, Occulum, and other venues. For more info, check out his website: http://www.jasonbaltazar.com

Image Credit: “Spring Snow” by Guliz Mutlu