Dear Cameron,
Sara Vander Zwaag

Today the light’s finally turned
into that September kind: so much
more orange at the sky-tilt. We resume
taking smoke into our bodies, fire
crusted on our coast like resin
in the bowl and a hurricane calling
dibs on the other shore. Did you cry on the plane?
The night before you left, eight of us gathered
on the balcony of an empty bar.
We put glass against our mouths and watched
four planets undress in a too-perfect
curve. I knew it was Mars right away, knelt
deeply to the slight red. Fernet-sharp
teeth proclaimed the night was blessed.
There was not a single lie said. The planets
were really there. We toasted to knowing
the memory of rare anger making you stay
for a cigarette thrown on a couch.
Today, I already miss you. I go outside
to buy spinach. In the parking lot,
a truck’s only bumper sticker urges,
“Lay down in the light.”

Sara Vander Zwaag is a poet and holistic health coach living in Oakland, CA with her cat, Timo and her fiancé, Tyler. She is the author of the forthcoming title GOOD RIVER (White Stag Publishing, 2020). Her poems have also appeared in The Offending Adam. She was the recipient of the Lannan Poetry Prize at Saint Mary’s College of California and a scholarship to the New York Summer Writer’s Institute.

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