I saw a tree in a forest,
and asked him, “Who are you?”
He said, “I’m the tallest tree around.”

I cut off his top –
making him level with the rest –
and asked again, “Who are you?”
He said, “A redwood; a mighty Sequoia.”

So I burned and destroyed his brothers,
till the statement “Sequoia” had lost its meaning,
and I asked again, “Who are you?”
He waited, then said,
  “A member of the coniferous, cone-bearing family.”

I destroyed his family,
to the last sprouting tree,
and asked him again.
He said, “I am a tree, with branches reaching to heaven.”

So I wiped out all other species,
until he was completely alone on Earth.
And I asked again.
He waited longer, then said,
“I am a living, growing being.”

Then all matter I destroyed,
until there were no atoms but his atoms,
and I asked again, “Who are you now?”

I have yet to hear his answer.