and it doesn’t mean they’re dying

the way that the drops of rain cling to
white pine needles hanging
down like chandeliers
in the almost dusk

i light a small nub of palo santo holy wood that ive carried in this coat pocket for almost two years, (since buying it on a street corner in ecuador)
for occasions like this: wet and dripping and 40 degrees
when the changing of the seasons means there’s something to shed
whether its grief or a sloughing off of dead skin, the way that the ash trees slough off their outer bark as they get older and it doesn’t mean they’re dying

(even though they are dying) (from other things)

i watch the way the (holy) wood burns and the smoke swirls and I listen to the rain land on (holy) wood and ground

light at the back

when in the dream my sister disappears from the station and leaves without me for the train, and i am still at the ticket counter, emptying my pockets, scrambling for a photo id, and i can’t find my red backpack, no not that one, i say to the lady at the desk, almost in tears when she offers assistance, and then i am yelling
at everyone, and i am late,
for the train.

as many colors in spring as there are in fall, someone in the circle says and I find myself nodding, agreeing, especially aware of the reds and pinks and whites and greens and soft hues of colors i didn’t know were different from each other until they popped up side by side a few weeks ago.

sitting next to all the seedlings at the living room window before bedtime,
parsley
rainbow chard
mixed greens
pickling cucumbers
and
black plum
tomatoes,
talking to nd and kw about death and
dying,
feeling the tang of raspberry sorbet still on my tongue
and the intensity of the
overhead light at the
back of my eyeballs.