Gizelle Fletcher, The Aftermath

A tree branch sleeps

in a green blanket,

orphaned, anti-social,

unaware the storm’s been ceded

by a fresh start,

a tired peace.

Her history amputated

from root to tip,

thick leaves balded

by a wind’s insistent visit,

the familiar abandons her peeling skin

baptized diseased by

the hands of human eyes—

a lazy dishonor.

If you touch the crown

along her jagged outline

she bites.


Exile is an unkind breath

of sin and hot water,

a hurricane’s twin.

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