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Friday, November 4, 2016

The Forest of Nisene Marks


Living beneath the marine layer,
I forget the relentless desert
where the sun’s insanity
heats your bones
in a torrid x-ray
your insides strained
shivering with fever.

In the solid green redwood forest
light is milky-white and heavy,
filtered through flat needles.
Ferns trail lazy fronds
the smell of wet earth waits
under fallen leaves.

A slim stand of cottonwoods
is reflected in the creek.
A black lab bounds into the water
shredding the papery bark.

A crow caws, indignant, alarmed
this dog is different–
she cannot be trusted.

I had never seen a banana slug,
couldn’t imagine a creature
so vulnerable and bright
not living in the desert
under a scorched shell.

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