Dear Sebastopol –
Hard not to get dizzy, here, under tides of scent—how they grade and terrace the air:
salt thick tang of wet earth fat with limestone against sweet rot of wind falls.
Pine sap town built on stolen ground. Wagon rutted streets. Hills once lush
with redwood and oak, cleared to the root for embroidery of orchards.
Century-wide berths of scrub oaks smoldering in the Laguna.
A train that carried its screaming weight down main street.
But the WPA mural on the post office wall still frames:
the hard won promise of rows of apple trees flanked by white chicken coops.
Once your accepted story swallowed me under its bell glass sky.
Now, I wake slowly. Learn to waver in the air above what history we've learned
sense what’s pushing up underneath.