He used to sit on the porch with her
drinking coffee, watching the mountains sleep
and listening to stars orbit the moon.
That was Oregon in July; the sun set late.
At nine, they were friends.
At fifteen, they were more.
But sixteen came
with two thousand miles of foreign ground.
Up north, they know what it means for him
to walk a mile through knee-deep snow
just to see her.
Down south, there are no autumns
only whispers: cool nights and sudden rains
before dry winter.
Until it always feels like October,
full of orange veins and cold mornings.
The wind always hints of snow, but the skies
blue and wind-streaked,
while the children play in old leaves.