Treehouse by Cristina Dominguez

Cape Ivy welding the door into the frame. It stands locked before me but calls my name. Yet, you are afraid the dense underbrush will disrupt my senses. Afraid that my luck for lumber is a numbered Chinese wish to be laughed at for its poor English; as if its meaning, like its words, were foolish. If you don’t cover it with a white sheet grandbabies will fight over that bit of thrift future where you briefly dipped in ink and slid into the binding, what you were hiding. If you let me lay on the dark wood floor you put down to make the cold sting, the one that kept you both in bed, I will, in the crook of my arms and the bend of my knees, gather in every corner of my warm body the sounds that alarm you, the ones that call out the fears that echo in the canopy.

Tender shoot, you grew so far from home. Old love initials scarred into your bark. You bear it like an epitaph under which a buried soldier lies. Unable to rest with his fatal battle wound, he paces in your flesh and you linger on the front lines, the undertow of an empty shore sucking on your calloused fleet. But I can reach your moving limbs and the climb takes me closer to the lamp on your desk that followed me against what made sense, through a changing sky and zones of time. I can fall and tear my dress. I can bleed and will live. My scratched hands, the scar on your tummy, our scrapped knees, your leaves in my hair, are unmaking the bed I made this morning. Let me be what I am to you, the wild woman serving you tea in the room whose walls couldn’t stand a chance. Let me be, Benoni tree, let me be the bull in your branches building a mosaic from the fragments of your fish bowl.

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