What elephants remember
by Geoffrey Anderson

the first time you open
the baobab trunk

by yourself
you don’t remember

what to look for
in snaps of dry wood

your ivory on bark
mother told you once

where to pry
whispered

somewhere it is raining
that water made the desert

and the forest
years before

he made you
his fingerprint

is not the ocean
but the dust

the baobab
has roots in both

if you carve enough
of its bone

you will know
the heart drips

and drink yourself
full of the tree

like the matriarchs
before you

the ones who fly
in vultures

above the elders
in the leaves

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.

Geoff AndersonGeoff Anderson has an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language. He teaches “there”, “their”, and “they’re” in Columbus, Ohio. His work has most recently been selected by Clear Poetry, Rust + Moth, and *82 Review, among others.

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