Colie Hoffman

The Bureaucracy of Trees

Now is the perfect moment
To quit my job
And begin work as a tree.
That’s the life:
Roots twisting nude in damp dirt,
No clean-up, no apology.

Despite the relaxed atmosphere,
It turns out nature is efficient.
The furious cubicles of xylem and phloem
Offer no privacy, and force you to squeeze
Through desperate
Into energy-packed, high-risk
Spaces, dense with sap—spin
Into rings at a leaf-drop—
Flatten history into symmetrical arcs—

Even at the roots, you don’t escape.
Punchy co-workers sip water and bitch
About Earth and her progress reports,
About how no one ever meets the boss
Because 67,000 miles per hour is a schedule from hell.

But, there’s thrill in the chaos
Of naked exchange,
Pushing nutrients from A to B,
The intimate craft
Of seeds
They twitter
To the ground.

Given the inventory of bark, then,
And the money I paid for this suit,
It is enough
To be deciduous.


Return to Volume 2.1






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