Mind Gives Up an Attempt to Describe the Scent of New Paper


In the prolonged swathe of color

that deepens after summer, like a long

exhalation saved for the shortened

days, a honeyed yellow

travels towards the tips of leaves–

every year this display lifts

heavy summer from the mind

that is also a year older and in fact

aging faster than these trees

but is somehow quickened

as though starting school with new

pencils and a clean tablet whose smell

everyone can remember.


I used to dream of living here. Now I do.

It’s hard not to slip from a place one loves

when one is still in it. Today the whole

canyon is line with flame and the scent

of leaves which are not so much dead

as crisp, blowing gold over dark asphalt.

I reach again for the longing

that set its sights on these mountains,

this light and omnivorous sky,

the wild weather that is drawn here.


I used to dream of being engulfed

in fame. Whatever did I mean?

Now I want to dwell inside

something else, alert and quiet, keeping

most things to myself. I want to say

one true thing at a time. Something that

holds light long after the light is gone.

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