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Avicennia marina

Soft chimneys shoot
skyward through mud
breathing in never out.
Pneumatophores, they’re called
by some. The tiny towers
inhaling air into the chambers of a world
that is a tree that is a city.
A metropolis designated once
for a Persian physician, philosopher, poet.
A man who lived a thousand years,
whose name says home
and breath and river and ocean and loss. 
Did he know, too,
how to breathe mud?

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