Rejoice in the Figure as Symbol

Her tongue in his mouth was like the little root in the styrofoam cup, the same white hidden searching for nourishment. He threaded his tongue around hers, fed her root with his own. They were upside down plants, growing together. Like the trees his father had planted two years ago, and twisted together so they’d be one tree.

“Why are you doing that?” he had asked.

“It’s an anniversary present for your mother,” his father said.

“It’s not much of a present,” he said.

His father sat back on his heels and brushed the dirt from his hands. “It’s a symbol, Ezra.”

“A symbol of what?”

“Of your mother and me. This tree, here –” he put his hand on the left tree — “is your mother. And this one — ” he patted the other one — ” is me. See how they’re separate trees in the beginning? Well, that’s what we were, before we met each other. But soon they’ll grow together, and you won’t be able to tell which tree is which.”

“It’s stupid,” Ezra said. “I can tell you and mom apart.”

“Help me put the tools away, Ezra.”

Her hands brushed against his back like leaves, her hair smelled like elms.