Knifeless knife

hot summer night
itching even where
nothing itches


wind from the west the sound of metal striking metal


I found a knife in the woods. Or more accurately, I found an old, tooled leather sheath for a knife with the remains of a hilt sticking out of it.

The top of the hilt was the only thing visible; the knife had been stuck into the ground, wedged between a couple of rocks. The way you’d hide something if you meant to come back for it later: inconspicuous, but not completely invisible. It’s on the far side (from us, toward the valley) of the higher ridge, near a stand of old sassafras trees where I sometimes dig sassafras roots, so it’s tempting to think the knife had something to do with that. But more likely it was used by someone poaching deer.

I love how fungal it is, already half-transformed back into earth. I returned it to its hiding place so the process can continue.

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