These Teachers

I meant to turn back
hours ago,
but the sage,
but the river,
but the evening sun
on my shoulders
and the path
that leads up
and up, the whoosh
of air as it parts
for the sparrow,
the scent
of juniper
arrives
and remains
in a constant
state of arrival,
the sole
of my shoe
leaves an imprint
in the dust, a heart
shaped rock,
and this quiet
prayer that one
does not lose
these earthly
teachers,
but rather,
becomes them.

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Paper Leaves

Last night
the wind came, swept beneath
all thoughts I had
of holding on.

And so it goes,
we all must fall,
the ground looks different
from up here.

You danced across
the window, dear,
behind the pane,
though not alone.

And now it seems
so long ago
I watched you open
toward the sun.

I can’t remember
how it felt
to be so green,
to be so young.

We’re changed,
not what we used to be,
we’re somehow lighter,
paper leaves.

Early Autumn

No words for
the colors on
this fiery hillside,

inexplicable,
so that I do not
move to take

even one
photograph,
but rather hold

each muscle
still to breathe
deep the delicate

scent of evening
as elegance carves
its name into the

part of my brain
that stores such
things, which must

be near the place
for love, because
I think of you then

and the way we
write our names
on the body

of one another,
the taste of living
on our lips,

as all the words
dissolve
into colors.