The Chanterelle and the Birch

The Chanterelle and the Birch
Devin Miller

I hold a mushroom in the palm of my hand
and mycelium reach into my skin;
I stretch my arm out like a branch
and white bark peels back.

I grow cradled in the hands of a tree
and leaves uncurl above me;
I twine myself around the roots,
and my edges blush yellow as dawn.


The chanterelle grows at the roots of the birch,
and feeds the tree what it pulls from the soil.
The birch cradles the chanterelle,
and feeds the mushroom what it makes of the sun.

The chanterelle is not domesticated;
humans cannot dictate where it grows.
The mushroom chooses the tree,
and the tree chooses the mushroom.


You have held me in your hands,
made space between your roots for me.
You have enfolded me in your mycelium,
and fed me what you pulled from the earth.

You have grown where you chose,
and let me choose you.
You have not let anyone plant you,
or dig at your roots.


We have both grown taller.
We have both been fed.


Devin Miller is a queer, genderqueer cyborg and lifelong denizen of Seattle, with a love of muddy beaches to show for it. Their short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and previous poetry can be found on select King County Metro bus terminals. You can find Devin and their cat on Twitter @devzmiller.