Mangroves along the coast of West Bali National Park, Bali, Indonesia. Aulia Erlangga/CIFOR

Root Deeper

By Donatella Gasparro


If I feel like I’m drying out

you’re drying out too.

When I rain – I rain on you.

No way to turn nor jump

when soil falls all around you.

No hug can hold

a cut-down tree.

One thing is left to do:



Throw your roots all over

and hold it all together

forgive the wind forgive the inaction

make yourself a tool for recreation.

If you revive, so do I.

If you start to photosynthesize, everything

will be green and so will I.

Haven’t you seen the lianas

hanging from my nails?

They’re reaching out for soil

and so am I. I’m reaching out for soil

to plant me feed me be the

cathedral of future kisses

– let me be a creek.

Haven’t you seen the constellation

of stones opening the way into my iris?

You won’t drown there is no risk for falling

if you’re together drop and jump, fish and motion

that’s what I want: be one with water that runs

If only I was less human and more rain

less flesh and more flight

I wouldn’t have feared wing flutters

I could have run down rivers bloodless

but I cannot and so I stop

I breath I thank and bow

to what’s greater than me

and makes me great because


I am not young. The water I cry

landed on this once incandescent rock

way before the gift of laughter

way before a timeline was invented

way before me and you was even a distinction

there is no boundary nor definition

if I dry out, you dry out too

and when I rain I rain on you.



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