by Sarah Carleton
“Try to praise the mutilated world.” —Adam Zagajewski
Pretty soon you’llraze the grass and weeds,although for now all you dois pick sticky seeds off pant legs. Still, you’re smitten with this flawed planet that ensnares you with its ups and downs—the heliconia raising delicate orange birds, the orchid rootshanging, contorted as octopus legs,each tangle adding to the chaos. We humanmammals, just as jumbled, pump air and thrive like vinesunder the sun,the blue swirl we’re perched onindifferent to squabbles, toxicleaders and malignant tumors.Admit you’re enthralled bythis spinning balletched with fault lines. You read about the tumble-down democracy, ancient trees burning in the west, girls forced to bear babies—news that makes you tearout your hair. Butright as your devotion wavers, a woodpeckerlaughs, and you lose your heart once more to thedamaged world.