Once the darkness was full we saw stars— striking frozen air, rippling through the underside of heaven in their meteoric plunge. Silvered white, cobalt, crimson, and then into the earth. A flashing that spoke to our very skin set against the blackness of night. A vapor immortal in absence.
The yard looks still. Winds riffle green-coin leaves, slim white-preened bark. Sage blooms rust and scratch, each purple nodule at last breaking in breeze to settle in a riverstone crevice. Pale roses wilt. Ridges curl, brown-strafed. Below, roots mottle and twist, an endless lurching and creeping through undersoil. Ants hustle through flagstone fissures, scream a frenzied silence. Harvest is hell. A spin to thicken before fall. Spikes of green fronding
March has ended once more. In Tennessee the trees are gowned with light green, in Washington cherry trees sparkle white-pink parasols. Here the mountain crevices still glow white, stale sky shining behind clouds tinged with gray. Blind to the calendar, the cold parches grizzled brush, and small green globes among the roots drowse. This time last year the sun burned bright, tepid gusts pummeling us while we sawed rubbered wood, breaking
Not five minutes after we embarked on the inland path, our eyes watchful for rattlesnakes amid yellow cactus-flowers, the vampires invaded. We wondered about malaria, remembered the repellant lying on the floorboard. Brown swarms revealed our bodies as simple prey, frantic slaps and our palm lines swirled in the red relief of our own blood. We scurried beneath circling osprey while a green heat glistened. At last we heard waves,
This is impossible to relate more profoundly than the jingle about to occupy your silent ear. For me, no part of waking up could ever deserve the superlative “best.” But the grinder travels its savory circuit, crushing heady granules from beans holding their richest secrets inside. The fresh sense of what will become that precious thing, a day of living, condensed and clarified with scalding water.
You could learn a lesson from clouds— so willing to travel with the wind. You could learn a lesson from highways threading through the West like questions asking themselves endlessly. You could follow one road those nights when the moon brightens the sky, rising above the tilt of the earth, shining the sun’s light onto boulders strewn beneath the clouds. This is when you can almost hear the stars