The smoky blue mountains are sheeted with tan and brown rock
the road twisting grey through the spectrum of gold and fire
leaves drifting in the wind like whirligig seed wishes
the mist billowing up in the valley and tickling
the roots of the trees perched atop the cliffs.
Small rocks, big rocks, rough rocks, smooth rocks
arches and tunnels and cracks and corners
square crash-pad people wandering through the forest
chalk snow and cold shoes and hand warmers you find
days after in the pockets of your coat.
The snick-shutter of the camera lens
the whirrr of the polaroid processing a memory
the way my eyes zero in on the blood I left
behind that finger-bucket rail on that
pesky V3 with the terrible topout.
Laughter and board games and mangoes for breakfast
too many people sharing one bathroom
deciding who gets to play first
by who took a crap last, the warmth of
snuggling with a friend I thought I’d lost
so long ago and feeling glad to be me
in what feels like even longer
grasping at a few days when I don’t
have to sleep alone and am not filled
with emptiness at the sight of the sun in the morning
and every night before I close my eyes
my fingers find the smooth wooden back
of a bird tucked into the small pocket
of my pack, keeping you as close
to my heart as ever.