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first it was the clouds, remember?
well, just the one. how it rolled in
fast and thick, a late afternoon in
september, the taste of crinkled leaves
on our tongues. i didn't know yet
how a day could turn in colorado.
from sun-soaked bare arms to 20 degrees
and a blizzard looming so low you 
could almost reach your fingers into
the blue-grey mass of cloudshape. 
the language of the mountains,
how they wear unpredictability 
like a spiked leather jacket that
says "fuck off, i'll do what i want."
i don't even think i had really
caught you yet on my radar edges.
i was just 18 and sitting with an open
notebook, the ripple curl of wire
making tattoo shapes on my left wrist
while my right hand scratch-soared
across the page, as if i was taking
dictation from the way the light
hit the top of pines the top of aspens
before the snow fog wrapped itself
around every mountain curve every 
tree branch stretched high and wide
even the sky bright as a blue jay's 
wing all of it gone within seconds
my arms studded with the ache of cold.
maybe it was then that you, all angles
and shine, folded your tall form
on a swirl of red rock beside me
and asked what i was writing.