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Creek Running North
November 18, 2004
I ran last night, the moon a fat yellow crescent on the horizon. Owl and kingfisher followed me into the darkness. Acacia and eucalyptus shaded my path: I ran deliberately into undifferentiated black. The earth rose up to meet each blind footfall.
Fog obscured the mouth of the creek, softened the sodium vapor lights at the railroad tracks. Up and over the bridge I went, east along the levee past the lone silver maple, bringing the moon back over the hill to illuminate the sidetracked tank cars of high-fructose corn syrup. Owl and kingfisher flitted back toward Pinole along the creek.
The brilliant burn of moist air at the bottom of my lungs. Polaris above the mist. I swung southward and up the hill on Santa Fe. Hello, old friend: Orion rising just above Franklin Ridge. I make it to the crest, slow to a fast walk to catch my breath.
I turn west again. A mile away: the hill where I live, shrouded in mist, backlit by the falling moon. I run again, crunch through crumbling diatomite and sandstone, down into Pinole Valley, across the creek and up our hill on the other side. I stop a block from the house, winded.
Owl flies past as I head for the door, filling the air with clicks and cries.