Last year we hiked the
woodlands of ochre October,
the sunset leaves of autumn
the same pigment as the freckles
on your cheeks. The way light
departed from oak roots
into our eyes – an earthly brown
puddle of mud-amber irises,
and our footfalls created music
for the critters among us.
We trekked the backroads
of north country until our soles
and souls were numb, sunlight
parting into our mouths,
the rhythm of twigs snapping
beneath our bones.
The horizon melted into the road,
and the forests split into paths,
each one guiding us home.
In early January,
tempests unravelled around us,
amethyst winds of ice
against our thighs, scratching
against the orange shingles
of the roof. Our legs dangled over
the edge like birds before flight,
beckoning us toward sweet release.
We flew into the midst of the storm –
(I wonder if you remember the
taste of gray clouds and curled smoke)
but at the cost of our limbs.
The ER nurses stitched in their puppy dog
eyes, grafted plastic smiles onto their
lips, the air starch with artificial
cleansing. I still thought
we could fly.