Poetry: These Trees Are Spider’s Spines

books-as-trees

By AMY MALAKOFF / Contributing Writer

Drive east
towards the sunrise and mountain range
for I feel like I could grow into these trees,
soak up the stories from their roots and wear their rings across my fingers;
engulf me in the forest leaves and I will leave myself behind.
With the sun’s light soaking my eyes I will search under dirt
and scour earthly sewers
until I find tales to pass on. I will wear them as vines,
letting them steal pieces of me – watch them change with the seasons, wither and blossom.

In winter, I’ll stitch sweaters of bark,
carve a home in these branches and hollow out my chest for storage,
Put them up for sale at the rest area –
for if you hit B92, there’s a new heart for you.
But my collection of stories is strapped to striped branches,
rusted pages crawling in to one another for warmth. And when spring comes
they leap off my pages and tumble over roots like children
collecting winter’s leftovers.
They fill me back up.
I breathe through found sled tracks, step lightly with scarved toes,
and singe the forest with my fiery fingers.
With this mountaintop for a heart, I’m always on top of the world.

And there’s always a higher peak.
We sit down on treetops—share our stories.
Sometimes, the sky even visits, grazes its fingers on our spines,
puts clouds in our eyes.
When the weight of these words weigh us down
we tumble,
become boulders barreling over baby’s breath
until we settle in streams,
Flood the lands,
settle the sea, and
scratch your own stories in the waves.

Amy Malakoff is a Freshman double majoring in Creative Writing & Chemistry at Florida State University. She’s currently selling her chapbook, Human Graffiti, for eight dollars.
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