Four Diagrams in a Forest
Depicted in this diagram is a man walking in a forest. He's out with a few people he doesn't know. They pass a toppled tree, roots up and up to make a latticed cave. Inside the cave is a baby. The others do not seem to think it a human baby. He knows they are wrong. Having been inside his body, he knows the body to be an invention, and so he says confidently, that's human.
Depicted in this diagram is a man nursing a baby in a cave of roots. No one else could do it, so he learned fast. It never occurred to him to make a mistake. Duty called.
Depicted in this diagram are the thoughts of the human mini robot: I prefer to be a collaborator; I prefer languid moments; I cannot control my feast mode; I hate that old song I hate; I prefer people who are kind and not especially insightful; I suppose I just have to put up with this; what's that line about being pretty?
Depicted in this diagram is how he wants to be praised for his actions. "You should praise me. I need it." Who says stuff like that? Instead of praise, he's left alone to praise what's left, the forest, the cave, the one who needs him.
is the author of "The Antique Densities," a book of modern parables, as well as the poetic novella, "The Book of Transparencies" and the story collection, "The Paper Coast." He works as the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection, teaches English at Southern Maine Community College, and lives on the coast of Maine with his wife and puppy.