In the Forest Dying, a Fen is Born
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upon a


a river



in the river

is a strange thing:

water becomes

a ghastly


that runs

putrid and fleshy

with corpsemeat and rot

and ropy intestines like vines

and weeping pink viscera.


means the river

is frosted

with sticky white fungus

and browning redgills,

waves choking

and sloshing the banks, fungal

arteries so red

dampening the stones

with hyphae, netting

the current

mucousy and warm

with off-white spider silk

'till it runs coagulated

with so many


and platelets

after sickness

has run its course

and in this, the river

thick and reeking

is immortalized. she

has a different name

but she is the same: she


so slick

into the dying bog

pulsing wet warmth

into the mushroom-soaked trees

the filthy algae-choked lake

the wilted corpses of ferns



living anew, and now

the mud is warm

the birds have stilled

and the river is alone: the fen

has embraced decay

and the river

lush, rotted

her waters rich

with tiny fish

pierced by herons

and waterbirds

and reeds so brown and green

is one and the same.

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