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First Anniversary

At the tree line, McCabe Lake sinks

into a short, stony plateau. The roots

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of scattered White pine race

the rock for a hold. Above

looms the stark Sierra's crest.

That night we rest in a cold bowl of stone,

dark lake at our feet, moonless solitude

pressing with the frigid clarity of stars.

It's like we've discovered another planet,

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uninhabited, a planet gone rock -

granite at its base, granite at its peaks,

we in between. Your hand touches mine

as we talk of the red-tailed hawks seen earlier:

how one, then the other, leads -

drifting, circling, breaking for a new thermal,

rising in a deepening blue.