the smuggler’s bible

Tarchok

Wandering, lumbering through deep and silent forests, Tarchok the tree-man begins the sentence when he is already ancient. He thinks the words and allows them to age and to ripen. He makes them a cage out of his bark and set them adrift.

“I am,” he says, and waits while the sounds seep into the world. They do not return. Time passes—mountains of it—and one day Tarchok finds seedlings emerging from the earth. Maybe it’s the same spot. Maybe there’s no such thing.

“I am, and remain,” he says. He is wandering, lumbering through deep and silent forests.