Pocket Guide to Another Earth
There is a plant found there whose sprouted seeds,
if swallowed whole, will grow back out of you
until leaves clothe the body entirely.
(The plant’s deciduous, but weather there
is all internal anyway.) Because
weather is all internal anyway,
it takes thirteen willing adults to pro-
create. Argument is a fossil fuel;
the children learn to speak by forgetting
to eat. The people, though they do not trust
in land or sea, no longer use their wings
to fly. Instead, they rub them together
at dusk and dawn. The chirping signals fear
and a willingness to die. It is, by far,
the preferred method of self-expression.
Warning: Their gods visit often, bearing
gifts, which, if swallowed, grow back out of you.
Like us, there is nothing they will not do.