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If I could write pretty words about trees
I would note how green is a color with
a subtle glow best admired in the vanishing
hour before dusk. As you watch it, it looks back,
looks through you as if you were glass,
as if you were the collision of time and light.
Green comes from the strings of a guitar playing
“Almost Blue” at sunrise. Though the moment
is right it’s not the song you expect because
green is a surprise that can’t be given away,
a plot from a film that makes you shiver
more than memory. Green is like that. Green
begs for the deafening storms that come
when you run for cover in the middle of a day,
then pushes its way out by bending shades
of gray like a psychic bending spoons.
I have suffered green, its various whims,
furies, and implacable attitudes, but it hesitates
to suffer for me. So I look at green through
the shifting heat and steam of this winding
highway. I love how green moves when I’m
not watching, when I look down to my hands
to steady my direction and find the new
shapes it created when I meet it again with
my sleep deprived eyes. Green—there is
a shaking in the earth like an old legend
come to life, a mythical creature come looking
for its day and its mate under the hot, hot sun.
Green—it’s a sound I will follow like that
of my blood running through my veins.
Green, I am old and I am lost and
I am so far behind the times and so slow
with grief and consternation and my heavy,
tired feet and my full and swollen belly
but the world is spinning tonight.
Copyright 2016 Jose Padua. First published, in an earlier version, in Gargoyle.
Route 211 (Photograph by Jose Padua)