The people are all shuffling around me trying to get to all the various places, people, and things. They have responsibilities, a life to maintain, loved ones to care for. I am not like them. I have none of those, my life is one of stillness and pain. I stand so long that I begin to grow roots cracking the pavement searching for earth, for water, for something they did not make. They begin to part against me as if an ocean of faces is split by some thing.

My roots begin to stretch far beneath the man made world we all occupy ourselves with, down into the untainted earth. The water is clean and free as I drink it beneath the concrete subway. The people are only interested in the surface, what is above, what they think they know. I know better. I know that before them and their desires came an ancient planet ripe with life, with belonging.

The people begin to notice me, not because I am beautiful, natural, and green, but because I am in the way. I impede their busy lives by simply existing. With a few rough hacks my legs are severed and the roots that had grown shake with the pain of it. They haul me off in a bag as if I am dead. They place me in the back of a garbage truck. I see the sun for the first time since I had taken root in the underground. With my pain, my loss, I get to experience something more.

The truck unloads me into a pile of other people like me, many of them grey from the lack of nutrition, their life essence flowing out of them. Then she appeared. She walked up to me and smiled and started telling me everything she could think of. Her life, her pain, her love, her loss. All of it. She told me all of this without thought of reciprocation. Yet I was destined to die in this place like the others around me. I reached deep into the skin beneath my chest, my fingers forcing it open as blood began to pour out. Gripping the bone I wrenched up my ribcage with an audible snap and there, beating still, was my heart. She looked scarred. I reached in and pulled out the last thing I had left and handed her my still beating heart. She smiled a smile that is rare and sacred. Then it all went black as she walked away.


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