What is it about a sunset that leaves me grasping
as if that fading light is the last of it,
and the colors – magenta, ochre, and the unsettled
greening of what was cornflower an hour ago –
might never happen again?
The way everything around shows gilded.
I mean the trees, the fence, the skin
of my legs, bathed in temporality, crystallized
by the knife-edge of change,
even though I saw this yesterday,
saw the way shadow fades into shade
and the erasure of this predictable landscape
to murky black, that is, blankness,
again and again.
Why then turn my lips to that horizon,
drink that mélange of color and disappearance,
try to quench the same wonder that wakes
me each dawn
to discover light and lose it again
as if I’ve never seen this spectacle before?
Claire Unis MD MFA is a pediatrician and author of a memoir about drawing on diverse experiences in the process of becoming a doctor, titled Balance, Pedal, Breathe: A Journey through Medical School. She facilitates writing workshops, narrative medicine sessions, and discussions of literature for her medical group in northern California. Her writing has appeared in Intima, East Iowa Review, Awakenings Review, and The Examined Life. Find her at www.claireunis.net, or on social media, @literaryartinmedicine.