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.