Eucalyptus

Mothers go at dusk in summer to where young 
trees line the back driveway of the City Hall,

their green camphor scent a steady
vein beneath the heat. They'll pull

at lower branches to gather tender leaves,
then bear these home in paper bags to dry

in bunches, to keep under glass for the rainy
months. At home, towel over my head, I bend

my face toward a basin of hot water in which
leaves steep, waiting for curled fingers

of steam to loosen my chest tight
with sadness and phlegm, remembering

how poultices drew me out of fever dreams
and oils could make my limbs forget

their hurt before lizards fell,
another green rain from the rafters.

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