edible the first tree we ate was a last resort. bitter tough bark. leaves rolled for easier bites. the tree had always served us well. tall & prying the moon open slowly slowly slowly. we'd already eaten onion grass & gravel & a tiny sliver of a comet we saved in the cellar for a special occasions. branch by branch we gnawed. splinters in teeth. if you eat a tree you also eat their ghost. viscous with all their years the ghost was tough & rubbery. we took turns aching from it. all the memories of rain spilling down our throats. all the regret a tree can clutch to. often i blame my hungers on some faltering of mine. if only i had a stronger will i could feed only on heat & letters. down to the knotted roots. shaking soil from the tangles before stuffing them into our mouths. seeing one another with dirt stuck beneath our fingernails. a shameful circus. like a shark feeding. thirst-ridden roots. ghost spewing pulses of depth. go deeper. go deeper into the rough. i wish this was the only tree we devoured but the land still lay empty of any true dinner plates. i found a spoon once & hid it. we eat even without hunger. when you are sick, you can convince yourself anything is an obligation. i have to go now & cut another tree down one limb at a time. i'm told the last bird died eighteen years ago. i was too young to remember but once we found a nest & split it between us. the song glimmered under our tongues. we sang into napkins only once & then it was gone.