Tourists come from all over the world
to celebrate the vibrant death of nature.
They point their cameras as if to write haiku
and attempt to make beauty a souvenir.
But the colour always dies in its own brilliance.
It is never as real as when it is real, never
as beautiful as when I see you emerging
from a gathering of bright golden birches
with one last flower in your hand that frost
overlooked as it flowed through our sleep.
The cold rock I rest against is foreboding.
It knows its cooled igneous will triumph.
In the meantime, purple aster clings to you,
draws life from you the way a bee drinks nectar.
Leaves that crunch beneath our footsteps
are words that have fallen in the silences
between us. They are brightly coloured,
yellow, red, soft gold, and sunset orange.
They are words that form clever disguises,
covering the place where even shadows fade.
They keep their secrets. They mask our trails.
Listen. The wind is moving through thin arms
that rise and try to touch the sky with need.
They are hands that long for other hands,
fingers curling around the dwindling light.
So many words seem to have died in silence.
So many brightly coloured hopes lie scattered.
Watch where you walk. There is life in them still.