Candleflame Lichen · Jaite Trailhead

Candleflame Lichen, Candelaria concolor

by Clara Britton

I love you I love you I love you
I want to live on you love in you
Let us find a tree, and settle down
you can take the sun
and I will make the fruit

When I first found you
years ago (maybe longer now)
I saw us painting yellow
over the places they called barren
I saw us swallowing the heavy things
they could no longer carry

Now, after knowing you wrapped in my lungs,
I understand that this is our burden for a good life
so full of copper and mercury
we will never go hungry

They call you names I would never
let you hear. I say
meaning: light eater,
color inside me. Meaning: life saver,
couldn’t do this without you,
look at what we’ve made

I spread for you on this bark bed,
golden laced gratitude, look how I spread for you.



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Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.