How Do I Know

The point of practice is to avoid fooling yourself.
—Zen saying

It is not that I am in love.
It’s just that the aspen leaves really do
look like ten thousand suns hung

on the limbs of every tree,
and the air really does smell sweet,
not floral, but a deeper sweetness

that comes as things grow old.
And the wind really does caress
the skin as if it’s a tenderest hand.

And the smile on my face is even wider
inside where no one can see. All
the small mouths on each cell of my body

are praising today—though I am
caught up in the same tangle
of shoulds and to dos and musts

as I was yesterday and the day before.
And I know the leaves will fall. They
are falling even now. It’s not

that I am in love, though that is true.
The day simply is a miracle, opening
like a gate, like a hand, like a mind.

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