4 sentences, one leading to another

today's lizard


Every year they sun themselves on warm moss and rocks, every year they gaze into far space, their secrets intact, the way they can release their tails to distract predators, the way the females carry the unborn over a summer, their own bodies cumbersome with the weight, and how I am taken back, back, to a place on Moss Rocks in Fairfield where I was sitting in dry grass and where I saw one come onto the rocks to bask and look around, not seeing me there, where I am still sitting, waiting.


Waiting for the coffee to finish pouring through, I looked through the kitchen window and saw a single chestnut-backed chickadee hop onto the table on the patio, a tuft of dryer lint in its beak.


In its beak, a dead junco, and if I hadn’t seen the raven flying down off the upper deck where the bird had been left by Winter, if I hadn’t heard the raven a few minutes earlier tapping with its feet and hopping so that I thought someone was up there, sweeping or moving pots, if I hadn’t seen the raven flying off with the bird, perhaps to its nest where its own young were waiting, then I wouldn’t have known that the wing that fell from its beak wasn’t a leaf, a dead leaf from the arbutus, the one where the tanagers pause, though I haven’t seen one lately.


Lately my dreams have been the kind where I dream, dream deeply and vividly, of people I’ve known and lost, and then when I wake, I want to enter the dream again, better-prepared to tell them what they meant to me then, what they mean to me now, and to bring them gifts I wish I’d thought to offer when we’d talk casually on the street or at a party or sitting with me quietly in their house or in mine.

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