between the cracks

the city is pavement, tamped down, covering soil, changing even the way that light reflects, the moisture and the warmth that’s in the air, but grass grows in sidewalk cracks, or if not grass then the roots of a tree or if none of that some kind of mold at least, some kind of weeds

life fights domination. Think of your folders. Think of the sprawling mess of human things that take over and gunk the would-be-logic workings even inside your machines: the sprawling way you organize your data. The flour from your fingers and the dust from the road that gets in through the vent fans and the keyboard– there’s some kind of life that gets in where order tries to reign, and it’s life. Life is gunk itself, the messiness

but behemoths take. They build. They give edicts that are followed– power comes from human ideas, especially ideas well-communicated– and economics is articulated so often.

Quiet the noise machines and make a space where “order” makes no sense, a wild place, and you a wild human in it, listen to nothing. Hear the sounds that spring up anyway, around you and from within you and from the friction of your body on the wild things. Get out, it

takes over, the tools take over the quiet growing things. Uprooting dandelions, their tap roots snapping, trying to curb the strawberry runners into their rock-lined places off the path, a protection but a control too. Tap roots snapped deep underground send up again shoots

I planted them, these seeds twenty-six sterile floors above the ground. “Nothing can grow here” my mind kept telling me, and I’d wrap myself in scarves of painted silk and look out at mountains so far away they might not be things you can touch. I found a sprig of cedar on the elevator floor, somebody dropped it, and I smelled its sweetness, kept it even dry and brittle by my pillow, reminding me

“Nothing can grow here” but I have to somehow see, to prove me wrong I brought a bucket full of dirt. I cracked open the peppers from the cupboard, their spicy pods dried from last year, took those food-seeds and they’re growing, little heads curling up to make first-two seedling leaves, and even

before the dirt there was a glass and a water and a clean round seed I cut from an avocado, and a root grew.

There was a bouquet, I brought it to keep a little piece of the garden on the twenty-sixth floor, we can’t plant gardens here in the clean place, on the windy little balcony. But flowers, cut, in glass– they didn’t die after two months but cloned themselves and put out roots

Even yeast, in a glass jar, it grows.

Life wants to be. Even mites, they manifested on the violets, and I don’t know how they climbed twenty-six floors, but if they can live there so can I

creeping in life from the corners even in a sterile place, the gunk, it wants to gather

grow