Jessica Sledge

When a child,
my brother's place of business
was a tree.
His "office tree"

he named it.

the space between now and then
seems thin, like a coin

an eggshell fingernail

to pretend to be a man
in a tree.


I pretend
to be a tree in a man.

roots wound down
to legs and toes

making feet heavier

branches stretch cavities,
piercing pores and mouths,
climbing heavenward

Bark molted
and reabsorbed.

and leaves making light
a stirring
we try to shed in the bath
with hair and skin

The tongue becomes dry anyway,
the mouth...

forgets what it wanted to say.

Better to be rooted with age
and grow taller.