It was an August sunset
when I saw you last —
the lazy breeze was thick
with autumnal promises
that hung in the air
like warm cinnamon.

You were waiting for
me at the end of the
pebble path you
had lined with California
Poppy petals;
a diamond in your pocket,
oranges like the sky
in your hand, an
ethereal smile on your lips.

I started down the
walk toward you.
Oranges dangled
low from tender
tree saplings and
blushed intensely
against the pink
ambience, warm
like August, warm
like the poppies
which stirred in
their sleep as I
stopped to pick a few.

You, an inch in the distance,
and I, in a little
white dress, holding
orange and yellow and
the earth in our hands.

Winds shifted,
leaves rustled,

I looked up and orange
was streaking the clouds
under a heaven on fire
down and the poppies were
hot August wax in my hand
Harsh crackling in my
ears I looked around and sparks
snapped to God in the simmering air
overcooked oranges tumbling
out of proportions singed with
blackening scars
scorching, sweltering, blazing,
And I looked at you,

all around us the winds
whipped and swelled and
the world burned slowly in August.

I looked at you, an eight foot
mile away, and whispered the
apology you never wanted to hear.

It was an August sunset
when I saw you last.