my friends, they take their knuckles to stucco walls and bleed out over suburbia. they leave stains in the walls like bitter graffiti, marking the places where pain gushed from their bodies and swallowed them whole. but i, i take my knuckles to the calloused bark of old trees, jutting out from the crags of short mountains. i leave my blood for the ants to take sustenance, i leave it for the fleas and the ticks and the wayward woodpeckers. wrapping my arms around the comfort of wood, my legs, winding my whole body around the unmoving trunk, i scrape my face against the bark like a cat scratching against a brick wall, removing an unseen itch from the surface of my body. i cannot get deep enough, the itch remains dormant beneath my skin. this is a desperate attempt to scrape away all that my body consists of in order to meld my soul with the tree so i might remain outdoors, quietly, somber and sleeping with only the breeze to move me. to lack corporeal substance, to be only a soul occupying the dormant heartwood of an ancient tree, feeling the rush of life around me but being distanced from it. observing, but not being.
i have always wanted to be part of things that i only ever experience remotely, with the limited senses of my humanity. trees, the wind, a river, a flock of birds, the slow moving granite of a distant mountain. i have wanted to be outside myself, to renounce my sentience for peace. instead i have my hands to feel the stucco bark of vast forests, my hair to guide the wind onward, my feet to be licked by glacial river waters as they eddy past, my heart to follow birds up to the sky. i donít know what i have for mountains. granite evades my senses, touching something deeper that i lack a name for. something ancient bred into the species when we were born of dust and carbon ash. i feel it at the core of me, a column of matte igneous rock keeping my back from cracking in half. when thunderstorms rage across the wide prairies, threaten to split the ground asunder and rip the flesh from my bones, it is the mountain in my soul that keeps me standing.
sometimes i wonder what is human in me and what dryad, naiad, salamander or sylph. when the moon is full and i feel swayed by its lunacy, the fae in me rises to frenzy outwards until iím standing naked in the yard waiting for the ground to reclaim me for its own unworldly purposes. i am only of the earth.