the spruce tips aren't tips anymore; are fingers with bones and a tired hand– this pays the price of experience, becoming the one who butters children's toast in the morning as if it's something she won't miss when autumn robs the soft caress of their unending, cloying need from off your face and the sun of relief proves to be a colder wind, indeed. An empty nest flaunts promise of another spring until you find the edges rot and ragged; who was here when I was not–? and are they stronger, still, than the drying heat of a stand in the wood denying the sweet kiss of rain for the hungrier bane of a forest's existence: the urge to build houses from a Master's division of your assets from the common ground we graze our cows upon until you tell us we haven't the right to– choosing instead the pain of you pretending not to kill us. This group knows a different reason for becoming, here, the outcome of the winter solstice– not to rise but to creep beneath the cover of my skin with the bubbling breath of sap recalls the tenderness of you(th). Fell me if you can and let me leave your carpenters surprised by the scent of my snuck kisses; embrace my column of towering strength, but not before you count the knots that stare like eyes from out the travesty of crossbeams– expect to hold more than their passing of as many days you waste counting out your acres; I am underground and far beneath the sky you worship as if it were any but the mirror; look at my face and tell me I am any but the chosen feat of animal lust and the crushing flesh it took to make the very ground you walk on.