Winter

When the caldera breaks open
again, everything will telescope

to the immensity of our fears
then scale back so that we might know

intensely, the truths of the world
we refused to see at last— In that

precise instant, before our shared
oblivion, the soft but sharp edges

of jasmine opened by heat; and the emerald
currents our bodies never completely

surrendered to, though our souls were thirstier
than fish. In a dream I saw the air

waterfall with the most transparent dying
of orchids, with the scales of a rare

white python uncoiling from the roof
of the world. It didn’t rain

anymore; and there were no more winds
or wildfires. There was a road

shiny as foil on which we lay
side by side, looking for the moon.

By then it didn’t matter if we forged
our travel documents or if our feet

were unclean. By then the word
insurance ceased to matter.

By then we would have— should have—
bent to kiss like a beloved child

every bone wearing shackles
stacked in the ditch.

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