The space where a tree used to be

The space where a tree used to be still forks, still ramifies. It weaves a net of scissors, perfect for cutting paper chains of angels from the difficult air.

The space where a tree used to be has its separate birth, cotyledons like the horns of old-fashioned gramophones swelling with dark chords. Everyone makes the same mistake of shouting into them, as if they were ear trumpets.

The space where a tree used to be is never available for residential lots. It conceals whatever core of resistance remains after colonization – green canes hidden inside every sword.

The space where a tree used to be is marked by crossed sticks or a sawed log bearded with yellow ice. Sometimes a sapling encroaches on it. Sometimes a vole follows the tunnel left behind by one of its roots clear to its logical conclusion and hollows out a nest – a tomb chamber fit to fill with seeds & truffles.

The space where a tree used to be grows dark at noon with the wings of passenger pigeons. Its artificial eye surveys the woods from the far edge of the field, sacrificing detail for the allure of smooth illusions such as depth and duration.

The space where a tree used to be is a pillar of fire by day, a waterfall by night: listen. Its birds are worth more in the bush than in any hand. It rears its head like a gnomon against the stars.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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