Laguna del Espíritu – Veritas (Serenoa psalm)

by Richard Paez

Laguna del Espíritu – Veritas (Serenoa psalm)

Warm-weather pinecones, Florida says.
She does not know irony.
Sawgrass scars stitch her skin,
she smiles in lightning, cicada
wings. No palms, only old souls
in old swamps, her laughter
crossing hammocks. Truth,

you’ll find her in the mangroves,
somewhere – far from Orlando,
from neon. Spanish moss
her hair, palmetto-tooth tattoos,
Calf-deep in grassy water,
exhaling Seminole summer.

Warm-weather pinecones, Florida says
shaking split-end needles from her shoulders.
Smiling northward, singing Pa-hay-okee.
You hear her cross the hammocks,
never see her.

We all rot in August.

(On the first day of autumn
her face cracks. Bark splits,
cicadas crumble. Mosquitoes,
mushrooms storm one last time.
The swamp screams, mangrove’s
Armageddon – wave after wave of rain.)

– S. repens


Posted on 09/25/2009
Copyright © 2023 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Shannon McEwen on 09/26/09 at 06:10 AM

I absolutely love the image and the line "We all rot in August"

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