Where Light Bends Wind
By Melinda Palacio
August air trapped in October’s still life painting waits
for a breeze to relieve Indian Summer’s false warm notes.
Leaves like hands tinted rust, gold, and emerald
surf air until summer calloused feet, fit for the harvest crush,
find a fallen leaf stuck to tarred heels from oil-rich beaches.
Ribbons of air carry a Scrub Jay’s eerie call over Channel Islands,
past the shoreline where cooler air breaks with sprays of surf.
Days stretch long where light bends wind, an intimate moment.
Balmy weather means the barometer dozes.
How often is Paradise as perfect? And yet…
A loud wind tousles your hair and caresses your face spells fear.
An outrageous riot of sunset made more beautiful by fire.
A friend’s home lost to wind and flames.
Sweet air swirls as the last purple petals cling to a Jacaranda.
One Autumn morning, all the butterflies are born.
Originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.