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by Amber Watson

Here are the things I recognize. Conversation always turns to you. You’re in the rocks, the cracks, the dark places always. Here in the aspens—especially those—here in all things that move without the body: seeds, branches, wind, water, and, though I don’t see it now, snow. You’re everywhere.

Take here, for example. Take now.

I’m writing you because I meant to write a place. And since you are everywhere, I’ll write you. I’ll tell you how I came to be here, but it’s not important. Shoes. Yellow and silver, old ones. Not my first ones, but old running shoes. Sand and earth so fine it’s left a red powder on my soles. Picture the sand so fine that when a wind blows, I can taste it as a fine film on my lips. The wind comes softly but steady, for the canyon walls are tall, the waterbed is dry, and the passage narrow. You can probably picture this. The small aspens with shimmering green leaves, tiny purple flowers and shoots of slender green. White clouds from last night’s rain, rocks cool to the touch. You know what I mean. And they told us to write. But here, you are all I can think of. So how can I write this place without writing you?