Midnight Flame

At midnight, he can’t see
             the white picket fence
                          or the tomato stalks, shriveled,

in the garden, though
             he knows the patio,
                          strewn with willow leaves,

plumes of tall grasses,
             upright and still;
                          and, as he peers into the yard,

he senses a moment
             wicking into flame — 
                          walking up an arroyo,

they gaze back
             across the Pojoaque valley,
                          spot the glinting tin roofs,

cottonwoods leafing
             along the curves of the river — 
                          a green tide

surges in their arteries
             as well as the trees;
                          tonight, spring infuses fall,

and memory’s wick
             draws the liquefied
                          wax of experience up into flame.

More Poems by Arthur Sze