My love,

Your story terrifies me, and I worry for you. I never wanted you to go... why did you go? You say I know, and I sit alone, awake every night, trying to know, but I can't. If I hurt you, I am sorry; if you hurt me, I don't have any scars. But I will hurt for you every night, if you need it, and I will love you, and we will forget.

The soil is still barren, despite all they say about these mines you work in. The earthworms writhe and coil above it. I don't doubt that it comes from marshes stained with your angry images, because it is hateful up here under the sun. I once found a firefly trapped in the gross stuff, and I freed it. I wonder what end it came to; it didn't look at me, or alight on my shoulder, it just flew away, blinking and gliding, beautiful. For just a second, I wanted it back there, under the mud, fluttering and struggling until it died. But I am glad I let it go.

The days are longer, twenty-seven to thirty hours sometimes. I still sleep with the old hours, but it won't be like that again for a few years, they say. Then the days will get shorter and colder.

I find that with more light there's less to see. The shadows fill out the things around me, and with the sun on high for so much more of the day, everything feels weak and empty. I stare at them in a daze and am hypnotized, but I don't really see them, not until the sun dips down and the shadows return.

But I remember now. When I remember, our skin is a thin layer above wood: we are two trees, awkward and askew, growing across each other in the forest. My roots are somewhere below, but all I see is our two hearts, rubbing against each other. Near my heart there is a knot, and I can see, though we are together, you apart with your skin and bark worn away. And mean animals come to lick up the sap that falls from the wound. But then I see maybe it is not my heart, but yours that is covered with knots, and I am seeing my heart, separate from yours, wounded and worn.

But we are not apart. The wound is both of us, and so is the knot; and in this way we are not two but one together, encircled in our own layer of bark. The knot disappears and becomes the wound; the wound is the knot. It no longer hurts, and the sap stays with us, and we are soft and flowing, together.

At last we are not even trees but litter the forest floor. The wound is not even a memory because it never was. We are a river and flow across the forest over countless years.