Up Into Gold

Ascend
to where the golden aspen
ignite

the fiery ridgeline,
along this trail of living dirt
that rises and winds

past brown mushrooms,
past the chipmunks
that scatter

into red rock hollows.  Feel
the four corners
of each balanced step,

legs straining
toward exposure as you disappear
into a revelation

of yellow.  The top
is a part of you now
and the bottom,

it will
never look
the same.

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First Time Since

Standing in your kitchen
between towers of boxes
that overflow with a lifetime

of belongings, I cannot move
forward or backward
and Michael

sits bewildered on a barstool,
elbow resting
on the counter.

We do not
know how
to begin.

And you walk toward us then,
young and tan, shirtless
and smiling. From behind you

Michael looks at me,
raises his fist and mouths the words
muy fuerte,

and we understand
that the way you looked at the very end
was actually

the dream.  When I wake
the pillow is already
wet with tears.

There and Still Here

I am with the sky
and the nighttime sound
of leaves letting go

into the wind
and also
I am with you

beneath the stars
and the steady crash of sea
and the sweet smell of salty lumber

that warps across the deck
where our sleeping bags lie,
and the same half moon.  All of these nights

inside of this night,
so much starlight
from so many millions of years ago,

and where is the part of my brain
that still remembers
your smell?

260 Pieces

I am not writing
a poem about
the walk

we took today, about
the exploding
hillside

on fire
with every red
and yellow on earth,

about how you and I
agreed that this
is the most delicate

part of the season,
such sweetness in certain
brevity

before the white winds
come down
from the North.

Instead, I am building
a Boeing 767
in a sleeping house,

one lamp lit
over the plastic piles
of black and white,

grey and blue,
so many loose wheels,
and me as I shudder with

inexplicable glory
as the last wing
slides into the fuselage

and snaps into place
for the small boy
to find in the morning.