Eating off the regurgitated flesh of this tree’s generations
we all become host and parasite
our blood sustains the rings of rot
and saps the precious energy from our limbs

Occasionally our longing for height and light
pulls a long hard desire from our depths
and we stretch for the sun
but if the familial undead does not bite us down
-no acorn flies free-
we’ll chop ourselves hard
for we have been trained
to be our own axmen

So the circle inside cycles outside
ever expanding to every branch
with a fat heavy bark of guilt strangling

How much weight can be taken
until all leaves wither and die
and one is just a bare branch
in the midst of a perpetual autumn

How much weight should be taken
Why should any be carried at all
Never having been taught to surf the wind
to risk the crash and decomposition is foreign to me
and I have clung to the roots of fear
long past the age of consent
with the nails of the willing crucified

To weld the hatchet as scalpel
to excise poison with minimal blood loss
to cut through a lifetime’s attachment
burn the forest with controlled flame
stand responsible for the rain of ash
and withstand the wet sawdust of the hatefully loved

Stay and disintegrate as a dead stick
or chance a different death
to become one’s own oak

Time is screaming the choice
feed the fire
or dig in and dissolve

June 19, 2011
Tressa Lee Breen

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