The Visit


The only go-bag 
the microbiome needs
is our skin, skin as flaky as mine, skin as smooth
as the baby we once were
lost now, many, many kingdoms 
worlds, zones ago
Upon arrival, everything sheds, communities
interact, wage war, make love, greet each other
compare origin stories, adjust to new food, water
Whole cultures, evolve, fail, die and
become food for their progeny -- I spent
a little too much time in the shared toilet the first
few days, considering the magnitude of the host
or legion, as the old priests would have said
not knowing yet, attraction can, sometimes
be reduced to opposing immune
systems, wanting to mate
to create a possibility
of future stability, adaptability,
something naively called peace
when The Little Ones are kinetic
dynamic, carrying the bulk of our wants
and desires
Now they meet
the fecund cultures
of men, women, trees, dogs, cats,
the yeasts specific to Northern California
differing from one bank of the Russian River 
to the other, bend to bend 
How do my Bifidus
react to their giant cousins, the
algae native and invasive
as along the pools
the currents, the eddies
we go?
We move through the vast, vast
the billions, billions, the trillions, trillions
believing we’re singular, while each
septic macrophage, every singular mold,
osprey, otter, heron, duck, jay, rat scat
contains a universe of funk, negotiating 
with their own diplomatic corps
of negotiators, soldiers,
politicians who inflame
politicians who soothe, 
mediators, changelings
liers, truth sayers, 
engineers, thieves
with specialties
like lock picking
And, although I am familiar 
with the language, it had
been a while, for all
of us -- No wonder
it took 
a few days 
for us
to fit 

Con/Jur/d, 8/10/2021