Golden pines fall rusted crisscross. The swamp plays its violins.

Fifteen hundred cool, wet fingers wrap around my neck. Here in Florida, scarves are sewn out of alligator tears, and citrus blood; sugar cane switches and BBQ sauce. Here in Florida, tangerine blossoms cast sweet spells out into the air; while wandering bobcats wonder where all the ferns are going. Here in Florida, concrete weeds spread like mosquito plagues in summer; while neon shadows taunt caladium lakes and throw stones at baby gators. Florida’s a swamp in self-denial, afraid of all the slimy creatures in its skin; so it lathers on SPF and drowns all the frogs in plastic mouse ears. Fifteen hundred thick, warm breaths wisp around my ears as pines needles fall rusted crisscross onto sidewalk graveyards. Above me, atop a withered sycamore, an eagle chomps hungrily into a stuffed rat with bright, smiling eyes. Florida swampland is drying up like Alpine lips— and Disney now sells chap stick in the bathrooms.