Skulls populate the land.

He collects them on his wanderings.

Stores them in his burlap bag.

Sorts them once he’s back at the cave.

He has three growing piles.

Large, medium…

He picks up a small one.

Rolls it back and forth between his palms.

He inspects it for fractures and punctures.

It has multiple signs of blunt force trauma.

He tosses it in the air.

Considers its weight.

Eyes its depth.

Measures its circumference.

He decides it should do it.

Breaks off the jaw.

Casts it against the cave wall.

He scoops up some clay.

Seals off the sockets.

All except the nasal concha.

He hangs it from a tripod.

Blows on coals.

Orange lines glow.

Flames reignite.

Lap the parietal bone.

Fire the clay inside.

Turn it into a ceramic.

He lifts the skull from the fire.

Sets it aside.

Combines in equal proportions.

As it cools.

The ash of once upon trees.

The remains of long ago beings.

Humus from a nearby stream.


He folds them into each other.

Pours the tan and white mixture into the skull.

Digs out the center.

Unwraps the wisp of green.

Picks it up by the base of its stem.

Cups its root system.

Supports its descent.

Plants it.

Backfills the hole.


But, firmly.

Presses the mixture down.


He unties a bundle of twigs.

Rummages through them.

Seeks the right length.

Predicts the wisp of green’s growth rate.

Forecasts the length of their wait.

Taking both into consideration.

He calculates the necessary clearance.

Chooses a twig that’s twice the height of the wisp of green.

Stakes it next to its stem.


He then turns to the tree.

It lowers a limb.

Slips one of its translucent leaves.

Between the skull and his hands.

He folds the right blade of the leaf up and over the top of the twig.

He pushes it down.

The twig pierces the leaf.

He looks to the tree.

It reassures him.

He folds the left blade of the leaf up and over the top of the twig.

He pushes it down.

The twig pierces the leaf.

Once again, he looks at the tree.

The tree gives him the okay.

He folds the tip of the leaf up and over the top of the twig.

He pushes it down.

The twig pierces the leaf.


He climbs to the top of the tree.

Slides back a thatched covering.

Moon beams stream.

The tree raises its limb.

Its thrice folded leaf acts as a terrarium.

Moon-dew collects.


Waters the wisp.

He sits.

Arms out to his sides.

Hands on a branch.

Finger tips stroke the bark of the tree.

They have hung their first inkling.

He lets his legs swing.

Well, just a bit.


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