All the bare trees
blush in a sepia light
and the air is thick with dust
as the world edges out.
Night fog dives and rises hour
after hour across the face
of Big Yellow Mountain
until at last, from below, shadows
flit to the pulse of stars. No sound
just wind as it tugs
at shoots of evergreen trees
which sway like chimes. It's winter
and stars know their place
in the dark velvet of the cosmos.
A river cuts down the gorge
away from rim-rock. Systemic ice glints,
and in the underbrush,
melts and refreezes from dappled light
above. Water obeys its motion
as blood obeys its circuit
to and from the human heart. The dark
is cold and smells of broken twigs.
Not just smells, an aroma of wintergreen
wafts from a snapped birch
and wet grass turns
to spires. Our breath
breaks apart the atmosphere
like the sun's ions
on ice. You've never slept under
the stars before. Bone colored tendrils
stagger like loose skeins of yarn
against our backs. You scan
a horizon which romanticizes itself
more than words or a photo
could ever capture. A hoot owl
watches a rabbit run
out onto the frozen surface of a pond.
It tiptoes across the cracks
and doesn't wonder
if the world will fall apart.
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