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I Used to Peel Bark off Sticks

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Branches frame a cyan sky
Abnormal polygons with no angles or side lengths
The forest knows I am an invader.
Bugs band together to lick the thin film of sweat off my skin
“Get out!”
The birds’ chirping calms frantic souls.
They remember how I stripped bark off sticks.
I now know even brown leaves from November
that the snow forgot to suffocate
have feelings too.
Unworthy of thin and long stems
sliding the tan ant’s body down to paradise,
or the veins in the leaves I think match my own. 
I step on deformed clovers that resemble hearts
(I never had any luck with love)
A heart tied with spiders’ silk strings.

Bark under my fingernails
left splinters unable to be removed.
The forest does not forgive me.
I wonder, are branches alive,
or are they just an extension of a life well lived?

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