American Culture · American Literature · Contemporary · Excerpt · Online Anthology · Online Magazine · Periodical · Poetry

Lloyd Schwartz

You’ll be driving along depressed when suddenly
a cloud will move and the sun will muscle through
and ignite the hills. It may not last. Probably
won’t last. But for a moment the whole world
comes to. Wakes up. Proves it lives. It lives—
red, yellow, orange, brown, russet, ocher, vermillion,
gold. Flame and rust. Flame and rust, the permutations
of burning. You’re on fire. Your eyes are on fire.
It won’t last, you don’t want it to last. You
can’t stand any more. But you don’t want it to stop.
It’s what you’ve come for. It’s what you’ll
come back for. It won’t stay with you. but you’ll
remember that it felt like nothing else you’ve felt
or something you’ve felt that also didn’t last.

— Lloyd Schwartz, from  “Leaves,” New Republic (November 5, 1990, Vol. 203, No. 19)

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