The Forest Dweller’s Diary

6. My Woman

I lust like a river
In the fall monsoon
But my woman is a stream
That is full only in the rainy season

In the winter and fall she is parched and withered
So in our hut of rude branches
And rotting plywood
We lie on our cots
And listen to the forest’s lungs

She does nothing to curb my lust

When she goes off to the town
I follow behind, nostrils flaring
Because my nostrils flare
I know I love her

I follow at her heels
And lurk in the underbrush,
I inhale her on all fours

I watch her in the market
From within the crowd
She bends towards a bursting mango, flashes a coin
The hem of her skirt flirts
It slides up her leg, winks at me

My mouth is a pit of fire
My tongue charred meat
Lust and rage open my belly.
I am transformed.
Life buds inside of me, a sapling sprouting, coiling, squirming.

Now I am no longer one,
But three –

The man I was,
The image of my woman with her raised skirt
And the bush in my belly,
Sprouting out of my chest and back,
Green sprouts mingling with my pubic hair
Man and woman and spiraling plant

Alex Sager

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