The Catalpa Tree’s Dream
written by Mathias Svalina
When the wind blows, I taste the air with each of my leaves. Each of my leaves’ taste buds taste differently. Some of them taste like human tongues do, with flavors & such. Some of them taste the air how a dog might hear the exactly pitch of her person’s car driving up the road. Some of them taste the air how an accountant sees numbers. Some of them taste the air how the Moon tastes the sunlight that reflects off its surface. There are as many ways to taste the air as there are leaves. It is a really windy day & each of my leaves shakes in the wind, tasting the air in its unique way, & it is almost overwhelming, all this flavor, all these tastes. I taste the lake & I taste the farms & I taste the factories & I taste the foxes & I taste the gutters & I taste the tears that fell on the sidewalk before dawn that have long since dried & I taste the words the child did not say back to their parent out of fear of how the parent would react & I taste the light touch of one person’s fingers against another’s as they walk through the park & the songs & the gunshots & paint being brushed onto canvas & cookies fresh from the oven & the blinking & the ticking & the careful handwriting of a signature & the smack of racket against tennis ball & the baby’s first breath & the alarms & the swirling lights & the gurgle of the storm drains & the whispers of the irises & the curiosity of the groundwater & I taste the distant fires & I taste the vibrating cement of the busy bridges & I taste the patience of the tectonic plates far below. In the dream, this is what I subsist on, not on sunlight & dirt, but on the tastes of the world, on the interweavings & interconnections of the world. And though I sit in my one spot before the library, I am a small part of every part of this world.