Past restless now. I am unravelling.
this passage renders me
stark, wind-blown bare.
stripped of love or hate for myself
the feral makes its claim. refuses to crouch low. to bide its time.
I am the circuits. running their vast network
spread over, under-
ground like mushroom spores, like redwoods.
no longer woman, I have become the forest.
race, justice, fat, enlightenment –
these words have dropped their meaning.
political, sorry, disabled, crazy –
they and I no longer recognize each other.
dark rivers wet my edges.
I breathe in thunder. I rattle.
what was I sent here to learn?
I feel myself for answers, touch along
my bark, my leaves, my stems.
sink in
my braided roots.

Barbara Ruth

About Barbara Ruth

Barbara Ruth passed as able-bodied until she fell off the map of the known world in 1983 for reasons in large part iatrogenic. She now lives with multiple chemical sensitivities syndrome, arthritis, fibromyalgia and seizure disorder. She is Neuroqueer, Ashkenazi Jewish and Potowatomee. She was born in Kansas and now lives in San Jose, CA and is a photographer, as well as poet and memoirist. Her work has been published in numerous lesbian, queer, disability, and literary journals and anthologies.
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