This is the tree bark moment –
whether to treat it figuratively
even though cicadas did once
cling and leave their shells
as actual memory, or find it in
its many names of explaining.
I’ve been waiting days to do
this, stripping away at the ideas
to leave just the playful behind,
but now with all those words
there is a pre-meditation as
reckoning. So, I’ll spit it out:
how the phloem is comically
the sound of puns yet also the
first layer of meaning – sugary
in all aspects of what it feeds.
Then there is that further
choice, whether it is xylem or
sapwood, and I’ll go for the
latter to make it appear like
empathy rather than a science.
And already I’m done on this
construction, unwilling to go to
the cambium and its trajectory.
Rather, it is back to layers, and
in this life with their dark depths
as wraparound / enclosure; that
hard shell where as tissue it’s not
nature or art but constriction
like a dead wood sheath, harder
than looking for the signals of an
ending it won’t allow us to make.