After Tropical Malady

By Graeme Hobbs

tropical-malady-apichatpong-weerasethakul.jpgTropical Malady, 2004

I am the street lamps and market stalls
whose bursting rings of light devoured you
the slashed red seats were the work of my claws
I am the night that surrounds you

My prey, my hunter, sleep for me
that I may stalk the paths of your dreams
and renew your ancient fears

I feel your every tread
every stroke of the saplings
that bend to your path

for I am the forest earth and I am the vine
and I am the leech that suckles your skin
I am the branch that sways from your light
and I am the trunk that accepts your weight

The tiger swallows the night with his roar
I am the roar and I am its silence
I am the twig crack, the twitch in your eye
the blood on a leaf, the husk
I am the monkey’s trill

All of this is mine to share
but, my lover, my soldier
you must let yourself be broken
fractured into a thousand leaves of moonlight
and this moonlight will be shattered

and sluiced by storm rain
into my decaying, fertile earth
and there be made anew
through the tree roots that will absorb you
and lift you to their highest leaves
to be bustled into song
at the start of each new day

My hunter, my companion, my firefly
I am the tree aflame in the night
join me, feed me, sleep for me

Graeme Hobbs lives and works in the borderlands. He writes, makes chapbooks and gardens.