Eric RawsonSan Gabriel Palms

At first, the picture of things
     is better
than the things: the palms against
     rose-rimmed skies,
people we don’t know mid-step,
     flecks of birds.
Happiness, unhappiness
     have no clear
distinction. The weather turns
into memory, the memory
     is erased
by repetition. There is
     no way to
prepare for death. We must live
     for years in
the admirable scenery
     before we
know how to think about it.
     The mind goes
to the deserts beyond it:
     nothing will
happen that does not happen.
     Small creatures
crouch on rocks in the evening,
the residue of sunlight,
     wanting no-
thing but skies empty of hawks.
     We are not
so very different, I think,
     except that
we are not realists. No.
     We live in
the desert of the moment.
     But we do
not want nothing in our skies.


Eric Rawson