Loblolly Pine by Holly Cian


None of it matters, the complete genome sequence. Resinous,

the thick yellow like a polluted sky, the tree reaching over

and bearing its needles. Like a playhouse of balls, thick

and enough to swim through. The imitation of water.

But yellow as some bogs or the dull stripes of a spider

as it clings its web across your porch. An occupational

moon. Seeds taken to space and returned, then rediscovered.

Are all seeds open to the wider world? Most often,

our habitat can kill us, but so can where we’ve been.

A tree with a straight base and the insects crawling

around it. A cloud struck from view. Around us,

the small kickback of a motorcycle, the space of energy

and sound. The lower lands has stretched itself

like an unworn sheet. Yes, it is singular. Yes, it stretches

like a body long after the crash and pressure of time.

Holly Cian holds a BA in creative writing from the College of Charleston and an MA in literature from Western Carolina University. Her poems have been published in Pinesong, The Great Smokies Review, Sixfold, and in the anthology Witness: Appalachia to Hatteras. She lives in Asheville, N.C.