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Pressed Leaf

You point to the great catalpa and say,
Its leaves don’t just fall, they are offered.

The process of giving takes a year,
sometimes a whole lifetime.
An unmarried botanist can tell you why.
She may even offer you lapsang souchong,
the most quiet of teas.

Examine how unnatural flattened things are,
it cries dimension, justice and air.
It suffocates in suspension,
its cells are exempt from rebirth,
its vascular bundle—the spine,
is too stiff even for wind.

Now look at your hands,
ten pillars of causes and conditions,
two valleys of flesh separated at birth,
once pressed it symbolizes prayer.
Sometimes you say,
it is best to surrender.

Sam Roderick Roxas-Chua

(Published at Mixer Journal, 2010 Mixer Publishing)