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