Midnight Flame

At midnight, he can't see
the white picket fence
or the tomato stalks, shriveled,

in the garden, though
he knows the patio,
strewn with willow leaves,

plumes of tall grasses,
upright and still;
and, as he peers into the yard,

he senses a moment
wicking into flame — 
walking up an arroyo,

they gaze back
across the Pojoaque valley,
spot the glinting tin roofs,

cottonwoods leafing
along the curves of the river — 
a green tide

surges in their arteries
as well as the trees;
tonight, spring infuses fall,

and memory's wick
draws the liquefied
wax of experience up into flame.

by Arthur Sze

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