Words: Saja Chodosh
Image: Nic Baird
Millions of wildflowers blanket
Death Valley. A sand storm
shifts on Ocean Beach. Color
everywhere — butterscotch
sunlight, fire made possible
by leaning lavender umbrellas,
fawn wind blown up bare thighs.
The paper says it’s soil myth.
People fold hats over their eyes,
kiss in the blind folded manner
of fledgling into day-close
and I wonder about the consequence
of rain in fall: gravel ghosts,
monkey flowers, downy cowlicks
wind-rushed into stillness.
According to a friend, there’s fog
at Half Moon Bay.
Between Berkeley and Santa Cruz,
water suspends mid-air, folds
Earth onto Earth-self, drapes clouds
on blue clothespins so one might ghost-dance
through if in the mood for a spin, but still,
we drift towards San Francisco.
The ocean wind moves sand across flat
salt tide like water over the valley one day
last October: a wheat cascade, 3 inches.
Overabundance, they call it.
Wanting too much, I say.
The beach air — a bouquet of burnt lemons
and gasoline. The many broken rocks we term
sand — quartz, feldspar, mica, repercussion
of naming things to feel right, the way fingers press
together. Imagine names between them.
Imagine pressing yet spinning grain-inches away.
Imagine tangerines in a fog sky, multiple suns.
Citrus floats, earth holds together
somehow, tide still pulls in sync with half-moon.
Just call it magnetism,
Death Valley’s spring cloak — butterscotch
landscape in bloom, us, pressing towards
the Pacific. Planets in want of water.
Someone somewhere asks about that day
in October. I say, it’s myth, and you say, Saturday.