the first night of the first time she is sold,
she imagines herself becoming a tree, undergoing
daphne and peneus both. shapes herself stern to stem:
gnarled sluggish roots, tender heartwood, brittle
outer bark fissured and bearded with emerald moss.
her limbs are leaden, laden, a fortune
of young shoots all in furuncle ready to burst
into fervent blossom.
she pays no mind to the hinky stares of woodland
beasts. the animal, animate sounds of rut.
alone, she tastes salt and copper flooding her mouth.
dreams of fire to prune her leaves of mast.