The Last Stop
By: Holly Day

She comes into town with her limbs already removed
sanded smooth enough to safely palm, ready to mount.
in case there's any confusion, she is a tree
cut and shaped into a bookshelf
carved callously to invoke thoughts of a living tree
some knobby stump in the forest
a knot and a bracket mushroom, a wall bracket.

More creatures from the forest join her in the storefront:
a stuffed squirrel poses on top of her, like squirrels did before she was cut
like this squirrel on other trees did before he was also cut down.
A perfectly round sphere shaped from the limb of another tree
or perhaps this same tree, sits on the other end of the shelf
poised so precariously, as if daring earthquakes.

Outside, false trees stretch high into the night
a forest of false moons, or perhaps false suns, tethered to each top.
There are squirrels here, too, but they don't live in these steel trees
Instead, scuttle in the shadows, ignoble like rats
searching for half–eaten donuts and discarded apple cores.


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