Yesterday I made a bargain with the forest. I would return, body bare, open. Not a shirt to shield my skin against the sun. No pants to keep the blood suckers at bay. If I stood long enough, truly long enough, in one spot until the delicate threads of mycelium curled around my toes and the leaves of the trembling poplars beat away my skin, until the birds plucked out my eyelashes and built nests in my hair, until my limbs covered with plates of wooden bark and my gut, from mouth on down, filled with soil and microbes from her own body, if I vowed my immobility and surrender that long, would she take me? Yes, only then.
I would dissipate. Just dissipate. Into an uncountable number of invisible, microscopic particles. Carried on wind song into terra incognita where you, my last born, flesh of my flesh, reside. All of you swirling and churning around all of me, indecipherable from one another. Ecstatic jubilation. Can I smell you and hold you there? There could be no other possibility.
Today, I am numb. Flat. My mind fills with you and then washes away. Wave after wave. It will be like this all day. I will paint the porch. I will listen to music. I will hope to find you in a line of a song here and there. I will get mad when I catch myself doing that - searching for my child in the lyrics of a song. I will cry in the arms of your heartbroken father. I will make deals with the forest and live in the fantasy that they could come true. A few moments of respite from an unending ache.