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Tree Compositions - Agnes Goldfinch

I am made of forests, emerald mosses spreading through my irises, silver firs sprouting within my lungs, verdant leaves fluttering in my throat. Are they a part of me or am I a part of them? Either way, I am merely a composition of trees, bending, cracking, gurgling, reaching upwards to the depths of the sky and downwards into the breadths of the soil in a contradictory attempt to fly away and root myself simultaneously. Sometimes, I even think sap flows through my veins in a slow and steady trickle of viscous gold holding everything together: the past and the future, the stripes of dry conifer and of moist evergreen, everything and nothing.

My first kiss was with my back pressed against the swaying trunk of an old willow, and now rains scatter the atoms of that memory over the world; the memory of swinging tentativeness, of tingling roughness imprinted into my skin. But this union, this amalgamation of matter, it reaches further than kisses, lovers, and acorns in my pockets, further than the oxygen in my blood.

I grew up gathering dropped cones in the palms of my hands, turning them around, pressing my thumbs against their sharp tips to test the limits of my skin. Somehow, it didn’t break nor rupture; I didn’t dare step over the dangerous boundary of curiosity yet. The little bloodless holes in my flesh remained a token of discovering corporeality anyway. I grew up picking needless out of my socks and untangling Vaccinium myrtillus out of my hair. I grew up looking at the world through the filter of the branches wavering gently at the mercy of a fickle wind. I grew up with the smell of boletes and wet bark in my nose.

Abies alba, Acer campestre, Populus tremula, Quercus palustris. Like a poem, my mother’s voice, reverberating through the uncertain images of my mind, embraced the foreign words with the warm familiarity of coming home. I didn’t understand a syllable apart from the sound of belonging. Do you prefer coniferous or deciduous forests? My grandma asked us when we were seven years old, my knees brushing those of my sister, still covered in needles, rusty and piercing. My grandma, who used to get on her bike in the afternoon every single day only to drink coffee at the edge of the woods and get back home to her bedroom door covered by birch wallpaper. My grandma, whose life was saved by a chance European pine when she slipped down the precarious edge of a half-concealed sand rock and only managed to snag the slender trunk at the very last minute; my grandma, my blood, my existence hanging on the thread of a mere sapling.

Coniferous or deciduous?

I never chose. I am made of both, of forests, of birds circling at the edge of my earlobes and tickling the sleepy corners of my brain, of buds and bugs in my ribcage, of grassy rejuvenation in my joints.


Agnes Goldfinch is a MA Anglophone Literatures and Cultures student in Prague. Agnes write short as well as longer fiction and is particularly interested in discovering the extraordinary concealed within the mundane, and, as a member of the LGBT community, she is interested in representing underrepresented voices and exploring untold perspectives.

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