Desire for the Botanist
by Cheryl Stiles


Like a priest with his sacraments
you hold mosses in your hand
and name them--
Bryoandersonia,
Campylium,
Pireella.
You scrape lichens from trees,
and crush leaves
to smell their delicate spices.

You stand shirtless
among river rocks.
The water
works its way
through your knees.
Someone stands watching
on the opposite bank,
afraid to cross






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