THEY MUST AGREE
They choose a home together. For a symbiotic relationship, please call. Fungus + Algae = Lichen. Wanted: clean air, light, and dripping water. They won't be found by the side of the road. These pollution predictors protect themselves: pack up, break off, and hitch a ride from an oncoming steely breeze. You like 'em? Can't breed them. This is out of your green-thumbed gloves, your to-do lists, and your endless optimism. Can't plant them in a pot with soil or stick. Can't confine them to the nursery with turquoise tags listing height and weight: they'll split. They may or may not agree to move with that landscape rock you bought. They are not interested in your website, but maybe, if you're lucky, they'll dig your campsite with its really good coastal oaks.
Alisa Golden writes, creates art, and teaches bookmaking and letterpress printing at California College of the Arts. Her stories, essays, poems, and art have been published in Rattle, 100 Word Story, Diagram, and NANO Fiction, among others. She is the author of Making Handmade Books (Lark, 2011) and edits Star 82 Review in the one-square mile city of Albany, CA.