You, who come looking for us only if and when we can be of use to you to fuel the cells of the part of the organism that you consider to belong to you– hope desperately to belong to you– (they do not belong to you)– you remember when you would have belonged to us. You remember, sometimes, that you will belong to us.

You should have let me plant her.

Noses snuffling through the underbrush. You think you are separate from the dogs that ease the search, from the object of the search itself. You think there is a difference between amanita phalloides and tuber melanosporum. You give us names. There is no difference. Consume one, you will die tomorrow. Consume another, you will die only on a different tomorrow. The tomorrow makes no difference to us.

(Sometimes, you even remember that you already belong to us.)

You think of self and you think of other, while you sort through which of us (which parts of us) you will eat, and which you will not. So too you sort through other types of cells. You thought once that eating the flesh only of those who have never walked on two feet as you do, who have never opened a book or cast a line into shallow water or dreamed of the sea, was different. Then you absorbed the understanding of another who knew they were no different. With him, you are almost One. But still you believe that to be One would be novel. You and he are not different. Not special. Not other. You are us. Or you will be. It makes no difference.

(If you must think that he exists, know that we eat better and longer than he ever will.)

In what you think of as today, you bring mushrooms home for dinner. They will go with the meat. You think you are you. You think we are yours if you consume us. But we are we, and you are the ones who are just visiting.