Friday, March 23, 2012

Meditations on a Spring Sunset

A swathe of lavender cloud veils the upper sky. At the level of the tree-tops (still skeletal, these), its color warms suddenly, glows like a summer peach. Behind the trees the sun is setting. The sky burns where it has passed. The houses hide the star itself now, but its light lingers. The trees in the west still proclaim winter, but the sky has softened and burst open into all the colors of summer.

The sun sinks further. The orange glow deepens and dulls. Lavender and peach, the clouds mingle. They breathe together.

In the top of the tallest western tree, a black plastic bag billows. It has been there for days, or maybe weeks, months. Sometimes it hangs quietly like some slow-ripening fruit. Other times it tugs at the end of the branch. I expect it to fly away like a bird.

A bird detaches itself from the tree in one place and flies briefly across the incandescent sky. Then I lose it. Is it in the tree again? Has it joined the clouds? Did it dip below the houses, is it following the sun down? to the place where it rests? (but the sun does not need rest, it is not alive. I need rest because I am alive: I need sleep, death's twin, and this need shows that I live.) Rest, it is the time for rest.

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