Trees in Winter Sun

Wanted or not, there is a way that certain people take root in you, like how some seeds in even the poorest dirt birth such stubborn, weedy, beautiful things. And there is too a way that people can be trees whose uprooting will leave you cracked, like that Maple left the concrete in front of my first house, a jagged seam unstitching near the center.

I couldn’t help but think of this last night, driving the highway beneath an orange moon, its off center circle large in the black sky and bisected by clouds in such a way that its face seemed as if permanently split, and I thought too of how you can never remove a tree and leave the lawn intact. You either leave a piece behind or you leave a hole, an uneven, uneasy empty space.

This morning, when I watched another winter sunrise from a window, I imagined a man moving down the hall, the soft hiss of shower in the upstairs bath while I made breakfast in the kitchen, how someone else could take up space in a house, in me.

I watched another perfect winter sunrise from the window in my quiet house alone, counting all the pieces he’d left behind, what of me he’d taken without knowing, all those empty holes.

And I wanted to love him less than the winter sunrise, that aching, beautiful winter sunrise, all its pinks and oranges, all its white, white clouds, or less than the trees in that winter sun, all those bare, black branches, the way they were silhouettes and suggestions and knives, how their hard edges cut into all those colors.

Like him, keen-edged, an unblunted instrument. Hard on my heart.

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