life. knowledge, and others

listen, you strange tree:
let me wrap my arms about your trunk,
scale you like a clinging child
to rest curiously atop your peak;
i will carve my name
into your queer flesh.

i shall draw out your sap
and mark myself with its pallor,
make myself chief of this charted land
which you thought you ruled
and watch it quake beneath my ministrations.

do not ignore me, tree. i know your secrets.
i will use them

to rope you between my palms,
and bring you down in sweet agony.
pay close attention:
your arbor won’t belong to you much longer.
i will be king here before sunset.
you will bless me at dawn
with your firebrand.

tree,
you will not tower over me again.

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