Snow a celestial orchard in bloom,

mile after mile of pine and granite
clothed in an empire of silence.

We burned newspapers, a cord of wood, a bed frame
the squatters before us had left.

Mornings, our boots made tracks
beside the split moons of deer, the clawed prints of bear,

even as wind whittled it all away.
Some afternoons, there was sunlight through the windows

and we’d lie inside our zipped-together bags
moving like a legless shadow.

Nights, we heard wolves with the sky inside their throats.
No one but your friend knew where we were,

and he had driven us into the Rockies at dark,
saying, The nearest town is Netherland.

Meaning, you can't rescue astonishment
from a boy and girl lost inside the molten light of desire.

Imagine your first love as a road of crumbs
marking a path back to the awakened whole

and your future
as all the small, invisible hungers of this world      
devouring the trail.

Copyright © 2022 by Julia B. Levine. From Small Disasters Seen in Sunlight (LSU Press, 2014). Used with permission of the author.