necessary cleansing

the change of seasons makes me feel more deeply—sometimes hopeful, at others anxious, melancholy. damp winds chill me to the bone. sudden downpours thrill me. popping embers keep my feet from going numb. i muse on shadows from a setting sun. i look around—at the garden, at the sky between the clasp of trees—and wonder if this will be my final home.

amid the raging western wildfires, skies glow orange, red and ocher. miles away, eyes weep, bloodshot, weary and sore. here in maine, the drought withers leaves and limbs, imperils thriving. i scratch a branch's bark with my thumbnail. it's green underneath. there's hope for recovery.

lying next to calvin, i wonder why he seized so closely to the last one. i feel his heartbeat; it's twice as fast as mine. perhaps the low atmospheric pressure is what triggered it. maybe, like birds before an earthquake, he feels a world in upheaval—rampant pandemic, hundreds of thousands dead, millions without work, poverty, misery, dread, injustice, despair, unrest.
at dawn, after months with little rain, the skies open up five minutes after calvin seized. its sound is at first a mystery. a passing truck? gale force winds? a school of morning skateboarders sailing down the street? time reveals the deluge on a red metal roof, the patter of drops in a newly-formed pool. a necessary cleansing of filth from the air. our nation needs a quenching, too.

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