The sun stretches across sky,
a long yawn over the horizon,
and drinks from the river wide.

The wind is gone again, on a whim,
chasing rain and cloud.

Trees wade in the water, their bellies
now exposed, rubbed black with current.
Awaiting the yearly floods, they huddle
under the canopy of their leaves
with the parrots and the sloths,
the fish swimming at their feet,
and the insects trailing across their arms,
kissing their skin with a patter of legs.

Banked on the other shore,
shanties lean on one another,
sheets of wood and corrugated metal,
green and grey, terra cotta and rust,
holding tight their crutches
into the soil beneath.

They are homes
we might disassemble,
put in blue boxes at the curb
around the bend
of the northern hemisphere.

But from here we breathe,
the rise and fall of river, our lungs,
and with the clots of cattle, stumped
jungle fields, we wheeze,
our hunger scraping
rainforest into pastures.

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Alaina is in her second year of the MFA program in Creative Writing at UBC. She has been lucky enough to travel to Brazil where she has twice visited the Amazon rainforest on her way to see family.