I am like a tree, within my body
a catalogue of many lives.

Stories run through my veins
like a river cascading from a distant

terrain. I was a seedling that began with a single
atom, and developed into a highway

with bypasses of limbs and lungs.
Transplanted early, mishandled –

my root ball was left exposed and pulling.
I found myself aligning the avenue

anonymous, another genus unnamed
one among many, a single tree.

But to survive

I need a forest.


Phantom Pains

I open my eyes
morning yawns.

At the bedside
whispers cling, strings
of beads on empty webs.

I listen
liquid light, leaks
through the windows.

“Wake up child”
Mountains of chest, falling
a landscape of memories.

I sit and wait to rise
as the voices


TAK Erzinger is an American/Swiss poet, artist and teacher. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Mojave He[art] Review, Nature Writing, The Beautiful Space, The Curlew and I-70 Review. Her close relationship with nature and her struggles with PTSD feature prominently in her poems. The themes in her poetry touch upon varying degrees of loss, forgiveness and healing, as well as some social commentary. She lives in a Swiss valley with her husband and two cats.