where love resides

011

Walker Creek, in Sandy, Oregon

There is a certain
affinity we have
for the places of
our birth, a
perennial inclination
toward those trappings
of our childhood
environs—call it
the natural habitat
of the human animal—
particular to a region,
held in memory
against time and change,
singularly
unimprovable.

Imagine my surprise
when I meet a fellow human
who evokes that very gestalt,
right down to
the sensory abstractions—

(For instance, what is it
about briny air
that reminds me of you? Or the chatter of belted kingfishers? Or
furled fiddleheads, velvet to the touch?
Intuitive leaps, all; knit
from whole cloth.)

—and that ineffable feeling
of instant familiarity.

I’ve conflated person
and place, past and
present, longed-for lover
and natal locale;
my heart,
unapologetic, instinctual,
pines for both
without missing
a beat.

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