the silver backs of leaves

gales reveal the silver backs of leaves. blue plastic squares are nailed to trees. i don't always follow. moss grows in banks and crooks of crossed roots resembling bones and tendons. others arise as tiny pine forests. behind a swaying canopy, the noontime sky is full of chalk and hidden stars. underfoot, the ground is soft and brown, sheathed in twigs and needles. lichen smothers trunks and rocks. tucked into a sunlit dell, a large stump resembles someone. my heart jumps.

i think of him every time i wake. wonder what tormented him into ending it. my own son seizes before dawn's break. i kiss him in his fit. cradle him as he shivers and quakes. he is alive, but reeling. i wonder what it's going to take.

drought makes everything thirsty. green leaves curl up copper. bark hardens. dust flies in our face, stinging whites and irises, blurring perfect vision. parched skin tents and wrinkles. grass crisps into straw. supple petals wilt and leather. puddles become mud. moist lips resemble deserts. limbs brittle. souls wither.

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