October Something

Photo courtesy of BigStock/Syntheticmessiah
Photo courtesy of BigStock/Syntheticmessiah

Our favorite time of year, when

day and night are equal 

so we feel our dreams in the afternoon.

Wasted tamarack jut like fishbone among cattails

from highwayside bogs flush with sumac.

The sun takes a different wattage,

hitting everything like a coat of fresh paint,

and the veil between the living and the dead

all but disappears.

“We’ll celebrate again in a year,” they said.

And I agreed, but tomorrow 

morning, when the sun breaks 

over this valley, when the shadows

of all things—tree, car, fire hydrant—

spill like water, when I turn

in bed to the form of them

still sleeping, a ritual I have performed

almost 3,000 times before, a ritual

I hope to perform until these bodies

bend to gravity, assuming their different

shape and their different iteration

of beauty, one governed by familiarity—

fingers knotty as tree roots, faces 

like patterned sand—resembling more

and more with time the earth 

which we will one day join, 

and tomorrow morning

when I find them beside me, I will

celebrate in silence, as I will 

the morning after that, and the morning

after that, and every morning

between now and then, but

in a year, I will raise my glass

and toast the beauty 

and the mystery

and the thrill 

when earth meets fire

and the wind catches.

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