I forgot to mention the bamboo grove
that can bloom in cycles of upwards of
one hundred twenty years, capped, it appears,
at human breathing. Its mythic blossom,
wherein its entire leaflife drops at once,
draws toward it the hungry and diseased.
Talking magpies, rats as big as melons.
You would come to fear it too if you weren’t
an old numerologist enamored
of its geometry. Gregarious
flowering is the term. This is not news
to anyone. Until it’s happening.
You could scatter the shoots across the world
and they would die together, as one body.
Jed Munson is the author of the forthcoming essay collection Commentary on the Birds (Rescue), as well as several poetry chapbooks, including Minesweeper, winner of the 2022 New Michigan Press/Diagram chapbook prize. He is a former Fulbright scholar to South Korea and current fellow at the Library of America in New York City.