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

are clear

blue and wind-streaked,

while the children play in old leaves.



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