Under an arch of trees, 
a mild wind passes  
and you recall an earlier time
when you looked up and there seemed
an opening in the hills, the smallest cleft
where the light came and went. 
Holding it in your gaze, 
you remember too 
when once you climbed 
to the summit—
an easy hike then, not many house
plots yet, or fences beyond which
laundry dripped in the sun. A lone
cow grazing, a flock of goats.
Wild patches of marapait;
tender vines of sayote and tartaraok. 
Mechanics tinkered with dented
vehicles, their heads wreathed
in cigarette smoke. And at the top:
ruined ramparts that only the ghosts 
of priests or prisoners walked 
at sundown. Isn't this how every past
love fades into a flower or a leaf? 
Wind or no wind, so many
blossoms at the base of the tree.

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