Costa Rican Walking Tree
The squat palm is a mess of thin
root-like branches, a thousand legs
looking for sun. It leans towards
the selva's edge, fumbling for the
ocean’s empty promise of light.
The biologist tells the tourists that it
has walked ten meters in twenty years.
Later, in the heat of her tent, I ask
if it's true, can a tree really escape
from its gloom-roofed life?
She smiles and says it’s just a story
that tour guides and witches tell––
a balm for people who’ve walked
too far in the jungle’s unexpected dark.
205 The Paris-American
Jacob Shores-Argüello is a Costa Rican American poet, fiction writer, and translator. He is the author of In The Absence of Clocks, which was awarded the 2011 Crab Orchard Series Open Competition, judged by Yusef Komunyakaa. Jacob is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Ukraine, the Dzanc Books ILP International Literature Award, The Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Provincetown, the Djerassi Resident Artist’s Fellowship, and the Amy Clampitt residency in Lenox, MA. His second manuscript Paraíso has been selected for the inaugural CantoMundo Poetry Prize and will be coming out in 2017. His work appears in The New Yorker, Guernica, and The Journal.
Next week's poet:
Luisa Muradyan Tannahill