I spent a phenomenal week in Rio last July.
My experiences there were incredible.
This piece was the result of slowly distilling them…
On my return from distant shores, I’m surprised to find
an unknown object in my pocket. Russet and wrinkled,
the size of an acorn and tactile: some kind of seed.
Curious as to how it arrived there, I cast my mind
back but cannot recall picking it up. I replace it there,
rubbing it frequently between thumb and forefinger
like a charm. It is comforting to feel its solid presence
as I go about my daily life. After a couple of weeks,
to my amazement, the seed starts to germinate. Slowly
at first, a tiny, tender shoot poking through a crack
in the outer husk, hunting for sunlight. I marvel at this
transplantation of life, still wondering as I fall asleep
what exotic madness I have carried back with me.
It feeds on my dreams and pullulates wildly, spilling
out of my pocket in the night. I wake to a riot of vivid
green: tendrils have crept up my torso; roots down
my legs, seeking anchorage. I am beguiled by this
mysterious new part of me, whose leaves now find my
face and start to bud. Roots curl rigidly round my thighs,
entwine their hairs with those on my calves. Once I
discover I can inflict no lasting harm – tearing provokes
a denser growth – I leave it be, brushing aside its branches
as I try to find my way. I wander streets that grow
increasingly unfamiliar. My roaming becomes more
erratic; disorientation grows. I find myself navigating
horror and enchantment in turn until revelation dawns:
I don’t know where I am. Small fruits have appeared,
just above my lips. Their taste is familiar, and as I chew
– the juice still on my tongue – this strange plant
consumes me. I’ve been uprooted. I must go home.