My cousin’s brains on the newly paved asphalt forever turned me off from driving. A creamy yellow-grey cockscomb flecked with a constellation of shattered shards, bone and viscid curds of dried blood fighting the pull of gravity. This road had been dirt and old compacted rubble lined by overgrown ferns once, connecting farm to farm and then further still — the city. A peripheral nervous system relaying messages, autonomic in its operations and heralding her death before I even had a chance to understand what was happening.

I heard of this happening: all over old roads that were forced to give up their dirt for concrete lanes, amputating the millennia-old network of ferns that sit on the side of the road. 


Crowned by the overgrown foliage, heralded by trumpeting rosefinches, I sit. Wait. Their plumage like jewels as they preen and pluck, then scatter into the air as my vocal cords strain to cry.

My wet insides blooming. Oxidising blood red rusting. 

Reedy rhisomes come knocking at the door of my ribs. Their reward is yielded in the way I open. 

Unlike my cousin I know what they need. Crimson sporangia from my own bone petaled branches.

I birth something that has no place in me. 

That grotesque culmination of life, sentience spreading like poison. Seedlings lacerating their velvet shells, like newly born cicadas screaming into the night.

The pinktail silence.