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In this chamber lies a dismally forgetful tree. Nothing in the room indicates how long the stuffed, human-sized tree has been bed-ridden. It’s possible the uprooted cruciform is resting, but the air in this softly blue cell is stale and clinical. The tree exists, gazing upwards at the static, sponge-painted clouds. Refusing to blink, large eyes, watery and wide, stare longingly with the anticipation of some discoverable revelation. What could be wished for when decoding the pillowy edges of an immovable sky? Stress creases in this contorted cylindrical torso trace themselves into the folds of bedding, a faint memory of a root system. The tree’s pervasive plight sinks heavily in the warm glow emitted by a large, forward-facing window.

Rafters feel like ribs in a second, darker room. The only opening is obstructed by a large painting of a tree freshly rendered into a stump. Evidence of its many limbs litter what is left of its body. The sensation of cutting the breeze with leafy fingers is getting hard to remember. In the bark, embedded eyes droop solemnly downwards while others look on. The backlit painting illuminates the empty attic with a warm light. Crossbars divide the image of the somber tree into quadrants, mimicking windowpanes while barricading any exit or entry. How can it begin again? The window is shut and there is no door. With a sigh, when your last leaf has finally fallen, you’ll realize that this place was never your home.

My Memory Was Wrong About the Trees
Philip Hinge
March 9, 2023

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