I knelt at the stump
and kissed its inner circle
before standing to undress:
the sandals of vine, a robe
the brown of aged trees.

I saw an open place
where my lips had been,
like the mouth of a chalice.

I felt its width and depth
and went to my hands and knees
for twigs and bits of earth
and dropped them in the hole.

I scanned the forest
and lay across the stump,
my body balanced, shaken
by spasms that left me limp.

I arched my back until my hair
met the soles of my feet,
the trunk fused to my abdomen.

I felt my hands rise,
fingers fluttering
in a green blur; my head
bursting into growth,
hair trembling to leaf,
flesh curling into bark;
bird songs filling the air;
a rush of wings
sealing my lids to sight.

Dan Masterson

Leave a Reply