Native to the bush are black boys, now called
grass trees, that grow two centimeters a year.
In private, my aunt still uses their old name.
Inland, dust combusts. Fires preserve
the continent’s aboriginal species:
Australian bush, California brush.
Oceans spew updrafts, too weak to hold accumulated weight
of rain that pelts the steel-blue waves until they break into white bubbles
while the blackest depths resist the downdrafts of outraged clouds.
My feet in the Indian Ocean taste the Pacific’s
salt and seaweed, remember how a beach
is pushed forward, then revoked grain by grain.
Somewhere in America bamboo outgrows
its skin each day, straining against itself, like me,
trying to go forward in a sweater caught on a charred limb.