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by Amber Boyatzis

When you've failed to find me
(I have sand on my scalp)
I’ve been spreading my time
(I have mud at my shins)
(I am gone to the wind).


Apathetic gravity pushes trees.
I’m wondering when I will
take root.


In an under-excited state
I’ve gone all the way back
to first principles:
Watch component parts,
reduce all firmaments,
find fires.


I’ve been hiding and I have found
((that it's too much to speak aloud))
from the ground up.

Author statement

I love the idea of wearing your lived experience, so the idea behind ‘Barefoot’ is to think about being unprotected and drinking in your surroundings through your feet. The ground is where a lot of life on earth starts, as the organisms lowest on the food chain tend to congregate in the earth. As a biochemist, I take biological specimens apart to try to find out how they work. This poem is largely about the parallels between trying to understand the universe through the rigid, disciplined undertaking of the scientific method, and the simple observation and appreciation of experience. I think both approaches are necessary for progress.