Before hibernation

The lark and squirrel burrow in quiet preparation,
feasting underneath the light of the midwinter moon.

There’s a buzz in the air I haven’t heard before,
the forest screaming back at the rain. Like one.

Naked and pressed against the dampness of the earth,
the sound pummels through me, all fire. Do bugs desire too?

Maybe they’re like us, wishing to be freed from flesh-
body and soul and mind and all of that.

Beneath me, ants and roaches line the tunnels of earth,
swimming in each other’s warmth.

A centipede slides down the loop of my finger,
slips onto threaded grass, disappears into vortex.

Somewhere, a tigress lashes out at her faulty mate.
The howls heave in and out of the wet marsh ground

coiling around the jungle trees. Clamber through me,
sweep across the field of daffodils, trembling. Like a prayer.

Mitali Singh’s work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Canvas Literary Journal, FEED, and Anser Journal. She draws inspiration from the natural world, and enjoys spending time outdoors. She is seventeen years old.

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