A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Christopher Morgan




I walked inside a tree
—I needed to hide. 
Being chased felt wrong
and the bark felt right. 
I’d grown sick of human hands
and all they could mean. 
But mostly, I’ve always found
comfort in the green.


I walked inside a tree,
and saw it stretch like a cave.
It encased me, cool and sweaty, 
and damp from the rain. 
I didn’t forget this carpet of bark
was more than escape. 
More than some childhood cape. 


I walked inside the tree
and heard an awful noise:
the stab of your searching voice.  
I tried to stay very still. 
Even the wind in my leaves
felt too revealing.
There came a trembling in my roots, 
so I closed my wooden eyes.
I stayed inside the tree
as you passed nearby.



My favorite souvenir is a walking stick I found on the side trails during my hike up Mt. Fuji (right after I graduated high school). Near the top of the mountain we had hurricane-level winds, so we had to spend the night in a little building to stay safe. But the next morning, at the top, you could get your walking stick branded as a mark of your finished hike, and I took my stick home when I was done.

Christopher Morgan is a Lebanese American prose poet who grew up in Detroit, the Bible Belt of Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where he currently lives and co-manages Nostrovia! Press. The Reviews Coordinator at Alien Mouth, and the author of two chapbooks, “Shadow Songs” (Sad Spell Press 2015) and “Fables with Fangs” (Ghost City Press 2016), he loves hiking in the redwoods, aphorisms, and happy hour margaritas.