Notes from July

I return to visit
the old brittle rusted forests
ablaze, valley where sepia faces
of the dead and distant
watch over my sleep.
I wake gagging on smoke.
One of those faces can't tell
a finch from a wren
but knows a robin
when she sees one.
One can't envision
the death she sucks
into her lungs and embraces
in her bosom as a long lost
love. Let August go goldenrod
the swallowtail air undulate
yellow, pollen settle in the lines
of our palms to map all
contingencies considered possible.
A good man from July
may still love, as much
as he knows how, the woman
I was before, so let July
skip ahead as it will linger
longer when we study
each version of ourselves
out of order.
What I know in my heart is
the rivers between us
run for reasons beyond.
And when I touched your hand
I hope you felt it
was with some kindness
for myself.

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