Evening Drive

2019 Public Domain image Aspens in Spring2

by Patricia Karamesines

Mountains and evening: aspen leaves,
Pale as moth wings,
Reclaiming the wood.
The car clove spring.
A flock of yellow petals, heads hung—
I wanted to stop,
But seeing you, said nothing.
You were not much in your face,
Your words, better remembering
Some breathtaken childhood
On this exalted road.
At the peaks, winds ground
Clouds to dust
In parching cold.
We rode through green flush below,
Windows pleasantly rolled down.

With dusk, winter came a little down.
On the road above the gorge
I sat in the window.
Raindrops broke across my face,
Burned off in the wind.
You turned the wheel
As if you held the reins
Of a mare, a bold girl
Standing on the saddle.
Beside us like a hound
The river ran panting.

The last brightness flowed
Down cut-banks on snow-melt,
Cascades branching like ivy.
Your mountains, losing
Their faces like sleepers,
Slumped out of the light.
The car went always
Toward the edge of that small clearing
The headlights cut.
Inside, your face,
Your chest, glowing faintly
From dashlights
As if you stood in a room
With a fire.

When I climbed back in at last,
Breezes still running
Over my skin,
My hair cool as grass,
I had no warm words.
You had no cold,
So we sat apart like two birds
On the same wire.
I thought,
Language is an odd thing:
You can go no further
Than you have words for.

©2019 Patricia G. Karamesines



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