Joined at the Rib

We are like aspen,
connected at the root,
joined at the rib
like Adam to Eve,
brother to sister.
The branch of one
to the root of another,
each dependent on the other.
Yet each leaf-vein pattern
spells a trajectory
unique as a fingerprint.
The luminosity
reflected in the stream
is a mirage of gold.
One leaf is a wick.
A forest of aspen
is a living fire
rolling down
the flooded riverbed—
sustained by the deep lungs
of the earth.

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