THE TREES

BY AMANDA WAGGONER

I wake up and think about how it would feel if I wasn’t here anymore
I start beaming
I’m a pervert for invisibility
It’s a secret that everyone knows not to know about me.

I think about my mother and Michael crying over Diana Ross
Mourning the years and time they lost, not because they love how she sings
But because when they hear her sing, they think of death
Unexpected.

I think about the white girls running down the street with their ponytails in unison, swaying to their privileged heartbeats
I think about how many people would be afraid when I run down the street
“Watch out— it’s a black beast.”

I want to own a cottage someday
I want to own it with someone I can sleep with part-time
We’d be too weary of telling each other that we’re really falling in love with each other
So we’d start pretending.

I’m good at that
I pretend all the time
I pretend to be listening to the voices of those around me when really all I’m enamored with are the trees
I look up into their brave, aged limbs and I start to breathe
I get lost there for a few moments
Jealous
Wanting to become a branch, maybe?
Or a misshapen leaf
I used to believe I was reincarnated fish this entire time I’ve been alive
I’m starting to change that belief
Life is an ode to dying slowly.

 

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