“Body of well-known naturalist found in river”

A woman wanders to escape. She grows old,
but that’s not the problem, it’s all the forgotten
words, all the lovely Latinate foliage once known.

Once held. Gladness vanished from her Botanist’s
Calendar, her Pocket Volume of Flora. Along the nameless
riverbank, she found the pathway home.

Too many nights blight sleep. A deaf-mute recants,
if only we could see or hear.  Tiny eyelets open within eddies.
Tears are what we need, they join sweat, urine, blood,

to mingle with the matter of death. Not earth, not gold
or silver. It was Mercury she followed, swift messenger
of pain and unwanted riches.  I wish her well.

She was a perfect pear-shaped sea-bound droplet.
No hegira more compulsory than this reckoning.
Life is a bibelot, the only remedy refusal, breath held forever.

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