Peeling the willow The knife point scores a snaking furrow along the branch's belly and the smooth green casing splits clean as plastic under the point. I cinch my thumbnails into the fissure, into moist fibers of living bark. When the nails curl away from the core I pull. My peel is perfect. Flesh pares away like a latex glove producing a flawless relief, exorcizing the branch core. I want to be opened this way hulled to my sticky ghost center. The tea brewed from willow bark is bitter.
© rob thomas