When he opens his mouth you can see the tree that is growing inside him.
He is long and hollow on the inside, stuffed with needles and branches, roots and cones.
They curl under his fingernails as oil does on top of water, the spiny needles, turn them green and aromatic.
He is a soft wood, I think, and therefore his eyes are soft and liquid and patient.
He terrifies me, rather.
I have watched him for years, this man-tree, and seen him grow, oh, so very slowly.
He wears always long coats, bulky sweaters, heavy canvas pants, sturdy boots.
The tree pushes against his skin, tossing it, rippling it.
His face waves and quails as the wind shakes the boughs in his deepest places.
I have clapped him on the shoulder, felt my greeting echo through him, come back to me with the distant music of forest noise.
His hair is grown wild.
When he speaks the slender minaret of the tree dances behind his teeth, waving from his throat.
He sounds the muezzin of the woods.
He calls us to prayer in those verdant temples.
Who can still that dreadful voice?
Who can muffle that quiet sound?