Colors Becoming Canyon
by Wendy Gist

In the narrow canyon brown
as my morning pu-erh tea,
bars of sunrise slice ancient
cottonwood trunks
and plumajillo infuse
air full of creek rumbling;
insects whizz, buzz, thrum.

Bare feet primp red clots of rock,
splash atop strawberry stones
in cold water potion the shade
of pink cactus juice that
enlivens whirlpools at my toes.

Sunlight graces water
and on the current
cabbage-white, sparkling delicious,
one green southwest canyon maple leaf
cartwheels to my sunscreen’d shin,

when a yellow-streaked caterpillar,
cave-black fuzz face, curls the tip
of the dark-lobed bract.

Is it possible to unfold the world
at my fingertips?

An old world swallowtail circles
ahead as white sycamore
bark jiggles creek’s reflection
like rippling bacteria.

The leaf floats forward
past a wobbly watermelon rind
picnickers left behind,
traverses a foamy waterfall, small, and
drops: hovers upon fish pool still,
flickering with unusual trout
under the glassy surface,
like a rainbow of crayons melting.

I share eyes with my blue
dappled dog
amused ashore
sitting amidst vibrant wildflowers,
the colors becoming
the canyon.

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