I see a flock of trees towering free of branches & leaves.
It seems as if everything just reaches up, never grows horizontally.
It is getting colder. The sky is farther away.
The naked, barked stems point. I must mimic,
but when I try to grasp a cloud, nothing is there to lift.
My hair is long, but I am still.
Muscle memory begins to chime, & I yearn to elongate my hands,
but they are ghosts here among the vertical rising.
I must obey the sun, I think, like a plant,
& wait for a break in the clouds.
I want to touch where my legs were,
but I have nothing familiar left to feel with,
so I crane my peripheral vision west,
& find I have grown into the ground.
There is an old musket bullet against my temple
here among the dirt & the shoots.
My hair goes underground, each strand a curling,
tender tendril, forcing against gravity
to take root among the grains.
I hear the indecipherable gossip of birds.
When they fly out from the pencil sharp summits of trees,
I can see their wingspan stretching left to right.
What I cannot see is their feathers angled toward the atmosphere.
It is as if they are immune to the burden of phantoms.