The Arborist Falls in Love
Your lover is belly-heavy with tree. When you put your ear to her skin, you can hear the groan of branches, wind-whisper of unfurling leaves. She is an arboretum now, tree mother.
Her husband wants a boy. Her husband sets love notes on your doorstep, folded up like paper cranes. Your lover unfolds them one by one. The insides are all blank.
You kiss her behind her left ear, run your fingers along her swelling belly. Trace the roots and the twist of the tree inside her.
She says: He never sent me love letters before.
You say: I know, I know, kiss her chin, the insides of her thighs.
You prepare a plot in your yard for the new tree. Your lover sits at the window, watches passing cars. She clutches an origami crane.
Cathy Ulrich has origami paper that she got in Kamakura, Japan. Sometimes she folds it. Sometimes she just looks at how pretty it is. Her work has been published in various journals, including Jellyfish Review, Cotton Xenomorph
. She can be found on Twitter: @loki_writes