Tara Jayakar: What Use to the Living
devotional where we are falling forever
a fungus is wiping out brooklyn’s
oak trees through sudden
dehydration. Oak Wilt, spread
through migrating beetles, is named
for how the fungus constricts
each oak’s waterways—all these palm-sized leaves
splotched with brown, all these high
trunks tracked with scars.
a truncated stump, a diameter almost as long as I am
flush against a verdant lawn—
it’s a project of prevention.
where could the wood have gone?
what of its neighbors,
who were sending it sugar
while it died? what of their suckling
young? and what use
to the living are the waterless
dead? i’ve tied up
some passageways myself, mostly
to the houses that came with this body, or maybe
just the one.
Tara Jayakar is a Brooklyn-based Midwesterner & freelance editor, lover of bread and space. She is the Founder/Bookmaker at Raptor Editing, & she holds an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Tara's work has appeared in The Shoreline Review, the Lumina Journal blog, MACK, andHeadspace #1.