Love in California

It came like the start of a season
Welcomed, treasured, endearing
The first sweater, the first sunburn,
The first assurance that this year will be grand
(Can’t you just smell Christmas in that apple-cinnamon potpourri?)

It’s steady like the wait for rain
The blessed, falling days when it finally arrives
The pulsing of the heat waves
Thoroughly visible through the haze
That wears you in place of winter clothing

It’s desperate, excitable
Brush fires pushing up on backyards
Too close for comfort (every year)
But comfortingly familiar:
Orange apocalypse skies,
Thick and hearty to breathe,
And ash smudges on skin and car hoods

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