~ after Heather Beardsley's "Strange Plants" These are the ghosts of cities we loved and lived in: perfect, scaled-down houses, rooms now vined with glossy overgrowth. Landmarks loosened from the horizon bond closer to their ruined shadows. Which bird, which god, delivers these triumphs of otherworldly scale? The universe: nothing but a battered suitcase, its insides carpeted with remembered skies and glowing mycelia. Maps of the world, speckled with fruiting spores. It's said removal of a feeding tube hastens the process of dying, which is not necessarily terrible. It can be quiet when the heart stops beating— the hush of early hours when streets are dark and empty, when only the wind stitches knots and chains through forests unseen.